The Guard

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Ezenzeleni youth receive Agriseta training

By Emily Setona

WARDEN – A group of 120 youths in the impoverished community of Ezenzeleni in Warden, a town in the local municipality of Phumelela, received Agriseta accredited certificates after attending a two-day training programme in piggery and poultry farming held on June 30 to July 1.  

The training had been arranged by Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality’s (TMDM) department of agriculture and rural development.

Sharing how the knowledge he has acquired from the training is going to help him, Lucky Radebe a piggery and poultry farmer who has been in the business for almost a decade now, said that he lost 22 of his pigs to swine flu.

“I am glad that I came to this training because knowledge is power. I lost some of my pigs due to lack of knowledge of how to identify sick animals and who to report it to. At least today I can say I am better informed and I have met the right people who can hopefully help me with my farming,” Radebe said.

The manager of the department of agriculture and rural development in the TMDM, Lebohang Moshwaliba, says the training was initiated in order to spark an interest among the youth of Ezenzeleni in the field of farming and agriculture.

“We specifically chose this community because there is a lot of unemployed youth and we realized that this sector of farming and agriculture is mostly dominated by senior citizens aged around 65 and above. Our focus for this two-day training was on piggery and poultry farming,” Moshwaliba told The Guard.

The departments’ agric extension advisor Matumelo Rantai along with ground man Lucky Mdakani and the Warden extension advisor France Majoe came to the training session to introduce themselves to this group of trainees so that they know who to go to for assistance when it comes to issues of agriculture in Ezenzeleni.

“As the senior agric extension advisor for TMDM’s department of agriculture and rural development, I am no longer responsible for this area. Mr Majoe is the new extension advisor designated to this area. This is part of the reason why we came here to address this group of youth so that they know the right people who can help them with matters relating to farming and agriculture,” Rantai said.

Addressing the youth, Rantai stated that there is an outbreak of swine flu that is killing pigs in the area.

“The community started report cases of pigs dying on their piggery farms, so we thought it best that we come here to this training session to make the youth here aware that there is an outbreak of swine flu among pigs in this area; so it’s important for the community to be aware,” Mdakani said.

TMDM executive mayor Conny Msibi also attended the event and gave a few words of encouragement to the trainees.

“Such opportunities allow for the youth to be empowered and they form building blocks for a better future. It is important for young people to skill themselves and build themselves and not always wait for government to give them handouts. I am very proud to see such a large number of youth gathered here today; it is very inspiring,” Msibi said.