South Africa is faced with one of highest rates of youth unemployment in the world making life very challenging for the youth, especially the youth in rural areas where opportunities can be even more limited. But the Mopani Farmers Association (MFA) strongly believes that in the absence of decent work opportunities and an income, young people can grow healthy food for their families and sell the surplus from their produce if they have access to land, water, seeds and the appropriate training.

As a result, the MFA collaborated with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), to host a five day workshop in January 2023 for young emerging entrepreneurs at the MFA hall in Giyani in Limpopo. The training aimed to assist young people who would like to start their own projects and provide guidance on NYDA funding opportunities. The NYDA is a government established agency to help to address the challenges facing young people. Some young people have been able to launch cooperatives with NYDA support.

“What you do today, determines what the future will be like for you,” explains Alice Tivani from the MFA. The MFA is proactive in recruiting rural youth who would like to create their own enterprises and provides them with training on topics as rural governance, how to apply for land and applying for a Permission to Occupy (PTO) certificate. At the MFA Agroecology Hubs, agroecology training is provided to young people with expert agroecology practitioners overseeing the practical training.

The NYDA offers a range of training opportunities for the youth and funding opportunities. For more information, please visit the NYDA website or call their toll-free during office hours at 087 158 6345 / 5738.

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