BUILDING FUTURE FARMERS
By: Nhlanhla Mthembu
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana visited Future Farmer’s Foundation as part of women’s month commemoration in Howick, on Thursday.
The Future Farmers Foundation is a non-profit foundation based in KwaZulu-Natal. The foundation’s objective is all about qualifying young men and women, by creating opportunities for them to become experienced and valuable commercial farm managers and successful farmers in their own right.
Judy Stuart, founder of Future Farmers Foundation said that they grew young people and transfer them to overseas to gain more knowledge.
“After a year or two of practical experience, the apprentices who excel in their work may be selected to do a years’ internship overseas. In Europe, Australia and the USA, the apprentices are exposed to very high working standards and very different cultures,” said Stuart.
Stuart added that funding has always been a challenge to them.
“We receive many request from students, but lack of funding disables us to take all of them, we would like to employ mentors to educate others but funding remains issue,” added Stuart.
Minister Zokwana, said that he was impressed with work done by Stuart and that his department will make sure that funds will be made available to foundation.
“What we need is to ensure that the funds at the department and government are used with deserving people like Stuart,” said Zokwana.
Thobeka Mthetha, permaculture assistant, said that she would like to develop skills as a farmer and help educate other youngsters and give them opportunity like hers.
“I am thankful for opportunity that I have been given by Judy, with my passion and love for agriculture I would also like in future to become commercial farmer and help grew others in the industry,” said Mthethwa.
Future Farmers has trained 350 farmers since its inception in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.