By 2020 there will be an even higher demand for skilled people in the agricultural sector, with top careers including technologists, hydrologists, food scientists, agricultural communicators and precision agriculture technologists.
While the spectrum of opportunity is vast, the role of soil scientists, particularly in Africa where farmers are faced with serious health issues, remains critical. The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimates that more than 50% of Africa’s agricultural land has serious soil problems, including nutrient depletion, soil acidity and erosion.
These challenges not only limit productivity, but also African farmers’ ability to produce enough food.
Laeveld Agrochem marketing director Corné Liebenberg points out that the African continent is the largest geographical area with growth opportunity.
“Africa is comprised of the most unused arable land of all the continents. The whole world is looking to Africa for adequate food production and to prevent a global food crisis,” he says.
For Laeveld Agrochem, this multiple challenge has led to the founding of Agri Technovation, a company that formulates and manufactures a range of specialised nutrition and soil health products meeting crop-specific nutrient, stimulant and energy requirements, while promoting plant and soil health.
According to the National Development Plan, the agricultural sector is expected to create about one million jobs by 2030.
This means there is a need and scope for innovative and motivated young people to become part of the agricultural sector, which continues to be an important pillar for economic growth for South Africa.
- THE MERCURY