Agri Colleges

Future Generation Aspirational Development

Today Agriculture plays a significant role in the South African economy, although it is important and recognised it often gets overlooked. As food provider it becomes relevant to appreciate the role of Agriculture given the rise of concerns over food security.

Food security in general refers to the reliable access to sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food.   The statistical information about agricultural employment may be different according to definition and source you may use, but it is safe to say that the sector employs around 700 000 workers. This makes the sector one of the biggest employers in the economy. We all realise that agriculture is the source of production of many essential food crops and the primary means of food supply for both humans and animals.

Agriculture serves as the backbone of the economic system. In addition to providing food and raw material, agriculture also provides employment opportunities to a very large percentage of the population. Agricultural exports are a primary source of national income for many countries in the world and developing countries also benefit enormously from the jobs created by the agricultural industry which aid in reducing high rates of unemployment. The livelihood of many people is agriculture; approximately 70% of African people rely directly on agriculture as a means of survival, according to the World Economic Forum (2016).

 

Unemployment

Unemployment and the associated lack of food security are among the greatest crises facing South Africa today. When Stats SA (2022) gave the percentages of the working age people officially unemployed per province (Second Quarter, 2022), the lowest rate of unemployed working age people was found as 27,5% (Western Cape) and the highest was 42,8% in the Eastern Cape.

Thus we need to urgently ask the question of where jobs can be created for the population. Eleven years ago (2011), the National Development Plan tackled this and other issues, and set out targets to reach by 2030. Agriculture has already met and gone beyond some of these, but there is still much to do.

Education and training

Mass education rollouts are necessary in order to up skill enough people who are ready to tackle the current agri-educational gap and forge a progressive future for farmers. This is something that takes time however and is not easily solved.

In an era of scarce talent there is an urgency to ensure that the Agri business sector is filled with skilled and motivated individuals leading the way into the next era. The younger generation often find other industries more exciting and inspirational. We are challenged as industry leaders and industry champions to show-case Agriculture as a very modern and trendy career to follow. As Agricolleges we are motivated to find the talent and attract the new leaders in Agriculture to the Industry through our modern and current courses that is relevant and interesting.

The AGRICOLLEGES international solution

AGRICOLLEGES international (ACI) is a modern cloud-based  online learning institution, using world-class technology as a platform to address the agricultural education gap in Africa and beyond, by providing students with affordable, accessible and industry-relevant education and training in the fields of agriculture and related agri-industries.

ACI’s unique offering is the cloud-based teaching, training and learning of Agri-Sciences by providing access to learning material in an online, blended and shared learning environment, available from anywhere at any time. All this at a quarter to a fifth of the cost of traditional brick and mortar tertiary education institutions.

ACI's online courses subscribe to the Blended Learning Model through the use of a three-pronged approach combining individual learning, collaborative learning as well as a practical application of the coursework:

  • students learn independently through the online tool, at any time and from anywhere;
  • students collaborate online with one another to share information and learn from each other through forums like chat rooms and webinars; and
  • students benefit from practical learning experiences which take place either remotely or at an AGRICOLLEGES international practical destination.

AGRICOLLEGES international is a beacon of excellence in the education of aspirant students wishing to train in the disciplines of the Agricultural Sciences and Economics. Courses are of the highest standard, having been developed in collaboration with industry-leading agri-learning institutions.

AGRICOLLEGES international aims to promote the principles of sustainable production to further food-security around the world, retaining and maintaining links to the global industry and equipping graduates with the skills they need to become agri-industry leaders.

 

Achievements

We pride ourselves in having successfully rolled-out 21 short courses and 4 x 1-year National Certificates since March 2018.  We are constantly      developing       further      short courses to ensure we are always a step ahead in the field of agri-education.

All coursework is developed in collaboration with the relevant industry bodies, for example Milk Producers Organisation, SA Table Grape Industry, Citrus Academy, etc. The motivation behind these collaborations is to ensure that we address the needs as expressed by farmers through these organisations as well as making sure we are always teaching relevant, accurate and current information.    

ACI now has over 1,700 students and alumni from 40 countries across the world, with a pass rate of 95%, and 90% of students finding employment after completing their studies.

To assist students from underserved communities in Africa and beyond, Agricolleges has partnered with Educate To Grow NPC. Educate To Grow endeavours to obtain funds for bursaries to award to these students. Agricolleges currently has a database of over 30,000 students who have applied to study with ACI, however lack the financial means to do so.

Agricolleges received these awards in 2021-2022

  • Best Global Agricultural E-Learning Platform of 2021
  • Best Global Agricultural Education Startup of 2021
  • Global Startup Awards South African Country Winner and Southern African Regional Finalist 2021
  • E-Learning Platform of the year 2022 South Africa
  • Recognition Award for Female Empowerment in Education 2022

 

Careers and food security
There are many different careers in the agricultural industry, ranging from farm workers to scientists. There are hundreds of other careers which touch on the world of agriculture which may not be inherently agricultural in and of themselves, including managers, secretaries, social workers, mechanics, lawyers, politicians, meteorologists and many more.      

Food security is the main requirement of any nation. Having a stable agricultural sector ensures food security. Agriculture is thus one of the most critical sectors in the world. Whatever you eat, drink or use in a nutritional sense has come from agriculture. It drives the economic system and has major contributions in national revenue.

Every nation should strive for a better agricultural sector to cultivate economic growth and play a part in lessening the global food crisis.

For more information visit our website at: www.agricolleges.com or contact: Laurika du Bois at: laurika@agricolleges.com

 

References:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/05/70-of-africans-make-a-living-through-agriculture-and-technology-could-transform-their-world/

https://baseline.bfap.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/BFAP-BASELINE-2022-ONLINE-Final.pdf

statssa.gov.za

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