Agriculture Career Guidance

What is Agriculture?

Agriculture deals with the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products. Agriculture remains a significant provider of employment in South Africa, and is a major earner of foreign exchange.

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What are the duties and tasks carried out in the Agriculture industry?

  • Advise farmers on farming techniques/methods;
  • Overseeing farmworkers;
  • Handling heavy machinery;
  • Work at a nursery, botanical garden, etc;
  • Advising farmers on management of finances;
  • Advise farmers on marketing, advertising and selling agricultural products;
  • Work as a production planner for crops and animal enterprises;
  • Involved in plant and animal production.

What skills and abilities are required for a career in the Agriculture industry?

  • Interpersonal skills - Agriculture jobs require the ability to work with others;
  • Teamwork - The ability to work well within a team;
  • Adaptability - The ability to be able to learn and adapt quickly to meet changing customer demands;
  • Technical skills - Should be aware of new technology and how to implement it;
  • Time-management and organisation skills;
  • Proficiency in using computers.

What are the working conditions in the Agriculture industry?

Farmers and other agricultural workers typically work outdoors, but they may spend some time in offices. Their work is often physically demanding and they are exposed to very hot or cold temperatures while working outdoors. Some farmers work mainly with crops.

What are the minimum entry requirements to study Agriculture at a TVET College?

At a TVET College, the normal entrance requirements for the Agriculture course are:

  • NC(V) Programme:

A Grade 9 Certificate + college requirements set per programme.

  • NATED Programme:

Grade 12 with a pass in English as an added advantage + college requirements set per programme OR an NC(V) Level 4 Certificate in Primary Agriculture.

What should I do if I want to study Agriculture?

  • Visit or contact a TVET College nearest to you to enquire about the entrance requirements for the Agriculture course;
  • Visit farms or agriculture industries to gain more knowledge about the field and what it entails;
  • Contact DHET Career Development Services to provide you with free quality career information, advice and counselling services on 086 999 0123 or e-mail: careerhelp@dhet.gov.za
  • Go for an aptitude test to help understand if a career in Agriculture is for you;
  • Attend Career Exhibitions in your area to liaise with higher learning institutions and obtain application forms.
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