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Citrus farm workers receive certificates

15 February 2014
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“It’s not just training. With this we will be better farmers.”

This is how Luthando citrus farm general manager Nokwanele Mzamo described an initiative from which 67 employees from farms in the Sundays River Valley received certificates yesterday.

The training was a joint effort between the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform and the primary production department of the Sundays River Citrus Company (SRCC).

Mzamo, who completed several courses with 19 of her staff, said it was important to set an example as a general manager.

Taking time out from farm work to complete the training, which stretched over five months, was a priority for her. She had rotated the shifts for those workers who were training.

“We are doing things now that we have never done before. The workers come back and implement the training on the farm. We do not have to sit down and explain things to them, they just do it,” Mzamo said.

The talents of Glengrove citrus farm worker Hendrik de Jongh, 23, who started out as a seasonal worker in the valley and is originally from the Western Cape, have been identified with the training he received and he will this year be a part of a supervisor learnership on the farm.

De Jongh completed five of the 12 courses offered. These included personal finance, chainsaw operations, food safety and hygiene, conflict management and health and safety.

“I liked the conflict management training the most because it helped me a lot in my work. I enjoyed the training and would like to achieve the goal of being a farmer one day,” De Jongh said. – The Herald