WANDILE Sihlobo’s opinion piece (Clarity needed to attract future farmers, July 14) was the latest contribution to an informative Business Day debate on the potential of agriculture to create jobs in SA.As Sihlobo says, the main hurdles for youth wanting to become farmers are access to land, farming skills and mentorship. However, there is reason for optimism: the "clear path for youth participation in agriculture" to which he refers has been forged.Projects are already under way to give would-be young farmers all the skills and support they require. These efforts should be sustained, and expanded, to the point where sufficient numbers of young farmers gain the empowerment they need to make a dent in rural unemployment statistics. The first step is to select, for training, young farmers with a driving passion for agriculture. Our experience shows that many young Africans share this passion. They must then acquire the training and skills they need including production theory, practic...

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