Supermarket chain Tesco publicized successful completion of the first batch of students participating in the 10-month programme on agriculture sales and marketing conducted by its Africa Community Fund. The project, funded by a partnership of Tesco (through its Africa Community Fund) and the Department for International Development had two of their top fruit suppliers Fruitways and Trucape joined as workplace partners.
All 20 graduates who received their diploma are currently going through interviews to secure employment. tudents were recruited from the Grabouw area, the centre of the apple and pear industry in South Africa. It’s a community in extreme poverty with 40% of adults unemployed and 11% of people have no form of income. Education levels are low and it has one of the highest levels of tuberculosis (TB) in any town in the world. The PYDA targeted 18-25-year-old’s who wanted to commit to change.
Tesco found an NGO with a programme of personal development and farming vocational skills. The Pinotage Youth Development Academy (PYDA) ran specific wine production training with practical experience. Its aim was to make unemployed youngsters more employable. The PYDA has a good record of success in the wine sector. Tesco wanted to replicate that programme in fruit production. They developed a 10-month programme with a qualification in agriculture sales and marketing.
Tesco supports unemployed youth in South Africa to strengthen the fruit production industry. Agriculture is becoming devoid of young enthusiastic professionals in South Africa. Farming is no longer considered an attractive employment option. Suppliers are concerned for the future security of the industry. Tesco wanted to change these perceptions and support our farming communities. Tesco colleagues also shared their fruit growing expertise through workshops and industry events.