Mitigating the risk of food scarcity and encouraging social cohesion and sustainability by teaching small-scale and smart farming is what drives Zandile Moruthanyane, 26. “Nothing can be done only by you. A support system is essential to human existence. You need to have people you can rely on if you want to be successful and happy. Partnerships are very important,” says the research coordinator at the University of Johannesburg Centre for Ecological Intelligence. Zandile’s role in the department involves driving food systems, including traditional farming, hydroponic and aquaponic farming projects. Zandile also oversees multidisciplinary projects in the fields of agriculture, entrepreneurship, water and energy. On a daily basis, she supervises the work of Tshwane University of Technology diploma students in crop production. Zandile is a mentor for work-integrated learning (WIL) students from various institutions of higher learning, assisting them to gain practical experience towards their qualification requirements. She also manages the UJ hydroponic and aquaponics gardens, donating the produce to students on various campuses. She recalls a pivotal moment in her childhood: “One day when I came back home from school there was no food. This experience motivated me to work hard so that I would never have to worry about where my next meal would come from.”
- Enrolled for postgraduate studies in sustainable agriculture at the University of Free State.
- National Diploma and Btech in Agriculture: Extension and Development from Tshwane University of Technology.
- Training young and old people in traditional farming, hydroponic and aquaponic farming projects, and the future of smart farming
I was living with my grandmother when I was six or seven years old in Limpopo because my mother had to work in Gauteng to support me and her younger siblings. One day when I came back home from school there was no food in the container that held our staple meal of maize. I didn’t want to add to my grandmother’s burden, so I went outside to cry. This experience motivated me to work hard in school so that I could have a better future and never have to worry about where my next meal would come from.
Be patient with yourself, all will fall into place at the right time.
South Africa is food secure for households, improved livelihoods of rural people, and an educational system that teaches young people to be independent and skilled. Combating corruption and growing South African.