SA Canegrowers is in partnership with Agri-Seta and the University of Pretoria to train 20 black small-scale growers in a bid to boost sustainable farming practices in the sugarcane growing industry.
The programme which also aims to provide economic and social welfare in the broader community was developed by the Enterprises University of Pretoria Training Solutions Company.
The training, which sees the growers attending workshops for two days each month in the KwaDukuza district in KwaZulu-Natal, kicked off in January this year with completion set down for June.
Members of Mvel’enhle Farming, Nonkululeko and Roberta Mthethwa said at first the training had been difficult as the concepts were new to them. “So far we have learnt how to delegate tasks and how to be leaders through giving those around us support, giving of our time and listening to what our team members have to say. We have also worked on problem solving techniques,” they said.
They thanked the lecturers for being experienced in adult-based teaching methodologies. “I have not studied for over five years, so coming back to a learning setup was a challenge. The lecturers were so patient while I got used to learning new concepts,” Roberta said.
SA Canegrowers’ Senior Agricultural Business Advisor for the North Coast, Nothando Buthelezi said each of the lectures were delivered by University of Pretoria lecturers who travelled to the province twice-a-month.
“This week was the fifth session of training and we were visited by two representatives from the AgriSeta, Xolisile Mthiyane who is the Rural Development Assistant Manager and S’thembile Mthembu who is a researcher for the SETA. They held a monitoring and skills gap discussion for the first hour of the morning before this week’s lectures began,” she said.