Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Head of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture Joyene Isaacs joins hands with IFAMA (International Food and Agricultural Management) to celebrate Youth Day and joins the cause with IFAMA in the Search for Talent in the Agricultural and Agribusiness sectorArticle by Louise Brodie
On the morning of Youth Day (16 June), Joyene Isaacs, Head of Department in the Western Cape Department of Agriculture spoke to high school learners and other young prospective entrants to the agricultural sector about the prospects and career opportunities offered by the sector. This was during a session of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association Conference currently underway (15 to 19 June) at the CTICC in Cape Town.
One of the strong themes of the current IFAMA conference is The Talent Factor, and this event saw IFAMA joining with this regional partner to celebrate the next generation of agribusiness leaders. The event also received sponsorship from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. The session was attended by high school learners and featured a number of interactive activities, workshops, and dynamic young speakers working in the agricultural sector addressed the youngsters and young future farmers regarding pursuing a career in agribusiness.
Western Head of the Department of Agriculture Joyene Isaacs was one of the key-note speakers at the Conference and was introduced to the delegates by Session Moderator Carol Brookens, MD, of Public Capital Advisors (US) as “The First Lady of Agriculture in the Western Cape.” Ms. Isaacs took the opportunity to share some of her observations from the Youth Day event and to emphasise the vital role of agriculture in the future.
“The Youth Day event provided us with the opportunity to demystify agriculture and agribusinesses for the teenage learners that attended the session. It is indeed a challenge to change perceptions of 15 and 16-year-olds but we must proactively do so as we need to consider the global trend that career choices do not favour agriculture. Agriculture generally receives very little coverage in the media and it is mostly negative. Yet this is the sector that feeds and clothes us and even contributes to our feeling of wellbeing when we enjoy a glass of wine. To put it quite plainly, when we retire we will still need to be fed and clothed. Thus we need to make agriculture sexy to attract younger entrants into this sector to ensure that it has the capacity and talent to continue to provide us with those vital resources!”
“When we consider sustainable development this is often a request directed at others but we need to carefully consider how sustainable our organisations are that enable this process. We need to make sure that our own home is in order and thus we need to start investing in our youth and nurturing talent to achieve sustainable development.We need to celebrate our youth and engaging the youth of our country in this crusade to feed the world is essential for its success.”
This was indeed a very sobering call to the cause of agriculture as we would all like to continue being clothed and fed long after we have retired!”