By: Phuti Mntambo
The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) is an advisory body which is committed to the advancement of the agricultural sector. It offers internships and graduate placement opportunities for deserving young individuals to enhance their skills and experience and prepare them for a successful career within the industry. The programmes are designed to expose graduates to the working environment.
For many years, the NAMC has been partnering with Mphaila Irrigation Scheme, located in ha-Mphaila, Nzhelele, Limpopo. With the employment of around 420 seasonal workers during peak periods and 70 permanent workers, the scheme has a great impact on the surrounding communities. In addition, the community is able to buy fresh vegetables at an affordable price from the scheme throughout the year, while some non-profit organizations receive donations.
From time to time, the NAMC places Agri-SETA sponsored interns in the irrigation scheme under the mentorship of Mr T. Tshithivhe, the extension officer for the Limpopo Department of Agriculture. He is passionate about youth development work and also enjoys training them.
“I believe that agriculture cannot be sustainable if we do not involve the youth, so succession planning is important” said Mr Tshithivhe.
The NAMC visited the scheme during monitoring and evaluation to assess the performance of the interns.
Considering the current economic condition and high unemployment rate, Vhukhudo Madeline Mamphitha
thanked the NAMC for the opportunity and the stipend that he was receiving.
“I greatly benefited from the stipend because it made my family more financially stable. Now that the contract is ending, I will not sit at home and wait for another opportunity. I want to put the skills I learned into practice when at
home.” said Vhukhudo.
Rufus Khuthadzo Ndou appreciated the opportunity to be part of the 2021-22 outgoing interns group.
“We have gained a lot of experience from this internship” he said.
On the other hand, Maubane Alfridah Mashiane, outgoing intern is greatful of the skills she acquired.
“Throughout the past year, I have gained valuable insight into the agricultural industry and this internship has definitely increased my interest in pursuing a career in agriculture” – she said.
NAMC wishes all the outgoing interns the best in their future endeavors.