More young people needed in agriculture says MEC


Eastern Cape Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, has stated that more young people are needed to help make the province more food secure.

Speaking at a breakfast stakeholder engagement session at the BKB building in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, the MEC also visited community garden projects in the New Brighton and KwaZakhele area, as well as handing over new garden equipment and planting vegetables at the Doors of Hope children’s home in North End.

"Agriculture is the backbone and the bedrock of the Eastern Cape. We need young people of a solid stature, who are not lazy and can be invested in," the MEC said.

"We need to show them that agriculture is not a retirement village. The time has come to get serious about our province and rely less on talking and more on actions.

"People who are walking with empty stomachs cannot create stability within a country, but as long as we can plant the capacity in them to use their minds and hands, they can deliver for generations to come. If we open the doors of skills, education and mentoring, we are closing the doors of prisons," MEC Qoboshiyane said.

He also added that it is nothing but an "act of injustice that a country with natural endowments cannot pick-up the Eastern Cape with the good soil condition, but have close to 130 000 civil servants that are paid each year."

As part of the community gardens project, the MEC also handed over seeds as a means of encouraging self-sustainable growth and the greening of townships.

"The time for marches and toyi-toyi’s must be towards their gardens. If we cannot achieve this, we can kiss everything we have build-up over the last 20 years goodbye. Let’s use the opportunities we have been given".