Unisa in groundbreaking agreement to benefit farmers and youth

Unisa in groundbreaking agreement to benefit farmers and youth. Picture: File

Unisa in groundbreaking agreement to benefit farmers and youth. Picture: File

Published Mar 1, 2024


Farmers and youth in the Eastern Cape are set to benefit from a groundbreaking agreement between the University of South Africa (Unisa) and the Gompo Farmers Association.

The relationship is being formalised through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at Dow Village, East London today.

The Gompo Farmers Association is an organisational structure of farmers created to ensure sustainable agriculture, deliver food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity for farmers in the Eastern Cape. The association also supports initiatives spearheaded by other role players with specific objectives of advancing farmer empowerment and development.

The signing ceremony will be attended by representatives of Unisa’s Eastern Cape Region and College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, 100 local farmers, representatives from the Provincial Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Buffalo City Municipality, Traditional Leaders, and the private and public business sector.

Guest speakers on the day will include His Majesty King J Sandile of the AmaRharhabe Kingdom, Ahh!!!Vululwandle, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, the Honourable Sisisi Tolashe, the Executive Mayor of Buffalo City Metro, Councillor Princess Faku as well as the Acting Executive Dean if the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Unisa, Professor Monde Ntwasa.

Unisa and the association have agreed to collaborate with the aim of responding to specific requirements of certain skills, enterprise and economic development services to address the economic development needs of identified farmers and beneficiaries.

With the signing of the memorandum, the two parties commit to collectively advance learning and research opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness, including the development of a model farm for sustainable agriculture and food security. It also advocates for the inclusion of the innovation capacity of Unisa through an Accelerator System within the model farm that will result in the establishment of a Biogas Digester Plant to foster environment-friendly agribusiness.

The parties, through the signing of the memorandum, will also commit themselves to the to grow research capacity and activities in the field of agriculture, strengthen youth education, skills and human resource base, and enhance community engagement and empowerment and assist farmers to manage their own businesses.

They will also seek to promote the use of new production methods which will enable emerging farmers to make a meaningful contribution towards economic development, play an active role in rural development, land and agrarian reform as well as food security, and assist in fundraising initiatives for farmer development and explore bursary opportunities for aspirant youth.

The agreement will further enhance the partnership by promoting a cross-pollination of ideas, expertise as well as various forms of support resources between the two parties in the Eastern Cape.

Pretoria News