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3 Sep 2018

LAND REFORM AND THE CRITICAL ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Farming and agriculture will always be an integral part of the future South Africa.  Irrespective of the politics of the day regarding land ownership, the needed qualities of all successful farmers will include knowledge, skills, wisdom and vision in and of the activities they are involved with.

Empowering initiatives for emerging/new farmers must include basic and advanced training in the necessary skills needed in all production activities of all types of farming. It means learning to do the correct things correctly and timeously. It also means attaining the deeper knowledge about the functioning of crops and animals, the knowhow of running a business, financial management, knowledge of how to plan, keep records, the basics of mechanization and precision farming, knowledge of how to handle workers and personnel, how to keep systems going, etc.

Existing farmers, who enrol for more advanced training courses in further study, not only empower themselves further with skills and knowledge, but in doing so open more doors for them to attain better credit facilities and to gain easier access to markets for their produce at, for example, agricultural businesses and co-operatives.

Correct agricultural training is not just about recipes and how to do individual tasks. It must provide specific applicable knowledge in farming practices, but also guide learners to ways of connecting and interacting with support people and companies in the veld, like representatives of agricultural businesses, co-operatives and other agricultural advisers in all fields. It empowers them and gives them a confidence and knowledge they never had before.

For any institute or organisation involved with funding of farmers for production purposes, it is of utmost importance to deal with informed and trained people who know what they do. Funding for production purposes involves risks. Farmers not really knowing how to manage risks and not making the best use of funds and/or credit, is a big risk for service and production capital providers. Therefore, the training of farmers to become responsible and creditworthy clients is of high value and importance for banks and other funding institutions.

Formerly known as Bathopele Agri Development Institute, Peritum Agri Institute has been a leader in the field of agricultural training in South Africa for over 18 years. Based in Bloemfontein it delivers high quality agricultural training services countrywide as well as in other countries in Africa.

Former and present learners from learner groups are outspoken about the value of Peritum’s training. Many of the learners already own land, some small farms, others bigger ones, and they are convinced that the training is invaluable to them. There are, however, also some learners not owning any land. One of these learners who is presently in a SETA-accredited diploma course, openheartedly says, “I do not want land, I just want to be an excellent farm manager in the farming enterprise in which I am now involved. I am sincerely thankful to my employer who gave me this wonderful opportunity of getting enriched with knowledge, skills and insight into farming. I am now empowered with knowledge. I will be a valuable person with a big role to play, even though I do not own land”. So, agricultural training is not only about owning land and farming, it also opens doors for people to get work and to advance themselves in life.

Peritum acknowledges that not everyone in agricultural training will end up as a commercial farmer. Peritum does, however, provide learners with a sound starting base of excellent knowledge and skills from where they are empowered and able to conquer any farming and agricultural challenge. Apart from farming, other attractive work opportunities also exist for well-trained agriculturists. These include opportunities as contract workers, farm managers, working as representatives for agricultural supplier companies (for example those in livestock remedies and medicines, fertilizers, chemical crop protection, irrigation equipment, seed marketing, farm planning, etc.), even also working as extension officers at the Department of Agriculture.

Peritum also acknowledges that even small-scale farmers, with small land sizes who will not really become so-called “commercial farmers” in the true sense of the word, will also benefit greatly from good agricultural training. It will put them in a position to produce high quality crops producing high yields even on their small areas of farming. It will also help stock farmers to take good care of their animals and to treat them correctly so that stay healthy and productive.

Peritum Agri Institute is a well-established agricultural training institution in the South African agricultural community with services available countrywide. It is a well-structured accredited training institute of high repute and integrity and it has a proud track record stretching over many years.

Peritum sincerely invites anyone who wants to be part of the wide wonderful and interesting world of agriculture to contact them.

For further information, contact Peritum Agri Institute at 051-451 1120 / marketing@peritumagri.com