Mathematics is the biggest blockage in the pipeline of agricultural higher education, which is not producing graduates with sufficient skills to ensure SA’s food security, according to an Academy of Science of SA (Assaf) study. The study, which was published on Wednesday, paints a picture of a fragmented, confused agricultural education and training system with teachers of poor quality, a devastating lack of funding and direction, and little that entices students into the discipline. Agriculture has featured large in SA’s policy since democracy. There have been several strategies, plans and discussion documents about bridging the gap between large commercial agriculture and small-scale farming, traditionally split along race lines. But these plans have failed to deal with issues and to implement recommendations to develop the skills and education needed to support broad-based agriculture. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says the agriculture industry delivers mo...

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