Social projects

FruitFly Africa Awareness Programme for Schools Gr 11

Introduction

The agricultural sector is attracting fewer and fewer young people to a career in this field. Recent surveys show that the average age of agricultural producers in the Southern Hemisphere is 58, while in the Northern Hemisphere it increases to 62. In South Africa more than half of our soil scientists are older than 50. New and capable people must therefore urgently be attracted to agriculture by means of creative initiatives. The incorrect perception of not being able to achieve a fulfilling and rewarding career in agriculture must be rectified because this perception is largely due to an ignorance of the facts. Through this Schools Awareness Programme on integrated fruit fly management, which will include a very relevant DVD on fruit production and food security, young people will continuously be made aware of career and scholarship opportunities in the food supply chain.

Objectives

  • The main aim of the Schools Awareness Programme is to create amongst learners a real passion for agriculture and the science behind it and to expose them to the principles of area-wide Integrated Pest Management.
  • Furthermore emphasis will also be placed on the impact on the economic well-being of the South African export fruit industry and local communities in the case of a possible quarantine embargo of our export fruit due to the presence of fruit flies.

Role players

The following role players have been identified as willing partners in this project:

  • Hortgro
  • Western Cape Department of Education
  • Agro-chemical companies
  • Fruit export companies
  • Fruit packhouses
  • University of Stellenbosch
  • FruitFly Africa field personnel

Benefits

As the learners will be exposed to some facets of agriculture and science at a relatively young age, they will be made aware of the many interesting and rewarding opportunities available to them in this field. Guest speakers, all experts in their respective fields, will also address the learners from time to time on relevant topics.

Participating schools

  • Sinenjongo High School – Milnerton
  • Kayamandi Secondary School – Stellenbosch
  • Hector Peterson Secondary School – Kraaifontein
  • Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School – Khayelitsha
  • Boland Agricultural School – Paarl
  • Paarl Boys High – Paarl
  • Overberg High School – Caledon
  • Swartland High School – Malmesbury
  • Hexvalley High School – De Doorns
  • Grabouw High School – Grabouw
  • Groenberg Secondary School – Grabouw
  • De Rust Futura School – Grabouw
  • De Villiers Graaff High School – Villiersdorp
  • Van Cutsem Combined School – De Doorns
  • Ikamvalethu Finishing School – Thornton
  • Iingcinga Zethu Secondary School – Ceres
  • Inkwenkwezi Secondary School – Table View
  • Simanyene Secondary School – Strand
  • Kwamfundo Secondary School – Lingelethu
  • Skurweberg Secondary School – Ceres

Action plan for 2013 and beyond

The programme will be based on the Technical Manual for the Management of Fruit Flies in Fruit Production by Dr. Brian Barnes and will be presented in the form of six user-friendly modules over the course of the first three school terms. In effect this means that every participating school will receive at least two visits per term.

Financial aspects

Summary

The Schools Awareness Programme on integrated fruit fly management in the deciduous fruit industry is intended to help address the problem of too few young people selecting the agricultural sector as a career. It is a creative initiative to make learners more aware of opportunities in agriculture and especially in integrated pest management – a field that does not enjoy much publicity. In addition, by exposing young people to the subject, the message will hopefully be carried back to the home and therefore enjoy an even wider audience.