Meander Chronicle Reporter
There’s good news for youth and women in the province looking to grow their prospects in the world of farming.
The KZN Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) this month launched its Women in Rural Entrepreneurship programme (Wire), a platform to provide women in rural entrepreneurship with knowledge, skills and opportunities to support themselves and their communities, and to sustainably participate in the agricultural value chain. The programme coincided with the launch of Kwanalu’s Youth in Rural Entrepreneurship programme.
Kwanalu places great store in the potential of youth and women and believes they hold the key to easing poverty, creating jobs and to developing food security in rural SA.
Both programmes, headed up by Dr Kathy Hurly, are the first of their kind in the SA agricultural landscape and will see women and youth in the sector, and beyond, interact and be directly linked with producers of technology, insurance, services, extension, training and education and new and access potential markets.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has projected digital tools into every home and workplace, with every sector rapidly transforming into the digital age. This provides agriculture with an excellent prospect to leverage the digital wave, and we at Kwanalu have identified this opportunity,” said Hurly.
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The platforms are building on the success of the 2020 Kwanalu Women in Agriculture webinar, which saw 307 registrations and 116 groups of women come together to create a valuable network of women in the sector to connect, collaborate, inspire and learn from one another.
“The Women in Agriculture webinar demonstrated the desire by rural women in agriculture to learn to be better business owners and successful entrepreneurs, and to successfully participate in the broader value chain,” said Hurly.
Through the clustering of groups, either geographically or based on market opportunities, the platform will provide for critically-needed in-field knowledge exchange, skills sharing and allow for appropriate scales to be reached effectively.
“The voices of women and the youth are not heard clearly enough, and this platform will link rural women and youth to opportunities in agriculture that will disrupt and transform the sector. We are extremely excited to be launching this platform and to build upon the success of our Women in Agriculture campaign” said Kwanalu CEO Sandy La Marque.
For further information on Kwanalu, visit the website www.kwanalu.co.za