MINISTER IVAN MEYER VISITS SUCCESSFUL YOUTH FARMERCasidra
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, visited Booysen’s Tunnel Farming, owned by youth farmer Byron Booysen outside Kraaifontein in Cape Town.
Booysen’s Tunnel Farming is slowly establishing itself as a commercial producer and supplier of tomatoes to local markets.
Six years ago, Byron decided to follow his dream to own a farm business one day. With the support of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Casidra, his goal is slowly becoming a reality.
Booysen’s Tunnel Farming produces tomatoes in 4 two-bay tunnels. Each Tunnel houses 1000 tomato plants which yield approximately 40 tons per cycle. Two new tunnels will be constructed later this year. The new facility will increase the production capacity and provide for a broader market.
Byron’s plans include the construction of an agri-processing facility that has Global G.A.P. certification to be able to supply to broader markets. He also intends constructing a fully equipped cold storage packing facility soon.
The business is currently expanding from three to five hydroponic tunnels.
Given that there are many more youth like Byron who are eager to access skills’ development in the agricultural sector, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture has developed extensive partnerships with farmers and commodity organisations within the agricultural sector.
These partnerships support and develop eager minds to reach their full potential. In this way, more than a hundred youth are placed with farmers who act as host employers and mentors for workplace experience.
One-hundred-and- twenty (120) agricultural graduate interns have also been placed on farms to gain workplace experience. Twenty of them have found permanent employment within the sector.
The Western Cape is determined to provide more opportunities for our youth.
Our Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute continues to provide youth who, like Byron Booysen, have a passion for agriculture with sound training and education. The knowledge and skills gained at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute prepare them for a successful career in agriculture.
Our youth remains our greatest asset, and it is encouraging to see how these young people are making a difference in the agricultural landscape.
We will continue to invest in the youth.
PHOTO CAPTION: Byron Booysen showing Minister Ivan Meyer the final product