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Agriculture sector made up of 80% unskilled labour

by Rodney Pienaar

The permanent secretary with the ministry of agriculture, Percy Misika, has come out to say that 88.8% of the people working within that sector are unskilled.

To address the skill gap in the agricultural sector the government has set up Vocational Education Training (VET) institutions to implement training programmes in agriculture with the support of the Namibian Training Authority. 

“With 25% of the population being youth and unemployment rate of 37. 5%, Namibia has a large pool of labour force to achieve economic transformation. The challenge however is that the youth are unskilled and inexperienced. However only 11.2% of the people working in the agriculture sector are skilled,” he said. 

He said that VET institutions provide agricultural vocational education and training by offering short courses and one-year training courses, certificates in livestock husbandry, certificates in horticulture and crop husbandry at level two.

He added that Namibians that are interested in becoming farmers must apply for admission at VET institutions so as to be equipped with knowledge and skills in order to assist the government in achieving its national objective of improving agricultural production at both household and national level. 

Misika also said that the agriculture ministry is implementing the Green Scheme Initiative (GSI) that seeks to encourage development of irrigation based agronomic production, aimed at increasing the contribution of agriculture to the country’s GDP, while simultaneously achieving socio-economic development of communities located in close proximity areas. 

“These initiatives are also aimed at promoting human resources and skills development within irrigation subsector in particular that if the previously disadvantage groups of our society. Education, skills development and technical vocational training are central to agricultural production and rural employment in every country,” he said.