Stellenbosch University through its Water Institute and Faculty of Agrisciences, in partnership with Maastricht School of Management (MSM), held a project seminar on Friday, 17 March 2023. The objective was to showcase major outcomes and achievements of Strengthening skills of TVET staff and students for optimizing water usage and climate smart agriculture in South Africa. Which forms part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP), funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The OKP is a €195-m Dutch global development programme that is promoted in over 53 developing countries and managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalization in education. Over the last three years, part of it during the COVID-19 pandemic, the project reached several key milestones with the coordination of the aforementioned implementing partners.
Delegations from several colleges attended the event, including Vhembe TVET College (Limpopo Province), Motheo TVET College (Free State), Nkangala TVET College (Mpumalanga), as well as Boland College and Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute (Western Cape). Other attendees included representatives from MSM, Nuffic Neso South Africa, AgriColleges International (ACI), the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), the Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA), the Sustainability Institute, Capricorn TVET College, and West Coast College.
Some of the project milestones that were showcased during the seminar included the revision and implementation of student learning material related to water topic elements, the establishment of three high-technology horticulture greenhouses at Vhembe, Motheo, and Boland colleges respectively, and the establishment of a fully functional Cloud-based Moodle e-learning platform.
Another major milestone is the establishment of two sector triple helix partnership agreements, one initiated between Motheo College, the Central University of Technology, and Free State Agriculture. The second partnership agreement involves Boland College and Rennie Farms, a major supplier of horticulture products to Woolworths, Shoprite, and Checkers. Recently, two graduates from Boland College who established an aquaponics business in the Breede Rivier region , also forms part of the partnership. Their business, called Manyolo Aquaponics, supplies vegetables to restaurants in the region.
In conclusion, Mr Manuel Jackson, project manager from Stellenbosch University Water Institute, and Mr Hans Nijhoff, project manager from MSM, thanked all the delegates for their participation in the seminar and support for the project.