The Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Fidelis Molao has urged graduates to explore opportunities in agriculture to earn a living and create employment for others.
Molao said this on Friday at the Gaborone University College (GUC) of Law and Professional Studies 12th graduation ceremony held at The Pavilion in Gaborone.
He said the agriculture sector has endless opportunities that remain untapped, but could be the solution to unemployment in the country.
“You may be graduating today with a Bachelor of Technology in Construction Engineering or a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Public Administration, but you might not work in those professions. Some will, some won’t,” Molao told graduands.
“But for those who will be going down that road, know that agriculture has endless opportunities. You could be a producer, a processor, a packager, a transporter, a retailer, or even an exporter.”
Molao also challenged GUC to explore the possibilities of introducing agriculture as a programme of study in their institution. He stated that farming should be encouraged, not only as a hobby but also as a viable business or career.
“There are many government programmes and organisations in place to assist farmers, especially the youth. At the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development there is the Youth Development Fund, which provides funding, training,
The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), National Development Bank and also the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) are other institutions there to assist farmers, young and old, to develop business plans, provide training and mentoring and facilitate with funding,” he added.
He said the job market requires people with a positive attitude; those who are not afraid of failing but rather turn failure into success.
For his part, GUC managing director Dr Antoney Joseph said the school has experienced growth since it first graduated only 19 self-sponsored students in 2008.
He stated that the institution offers wide ranging quality programmes, designed to equip students with skills and knowledge as well as prepare them for the job market.
He thanked government for continuing to show trust in the institution by enrolling students despite the tough economic situation. Joseph said GUC graduates are well equipped to contribute towards building a better Botswana.
The institution released 1,272 graduates into the job market, who graduated with certificates, diplomas and degrees in various disciplines such as Bachelor of Technology in Construction Engineering or a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Public Administration.