Worldwide population is projected to reach 8.6 billion by the year 2030 before hitting 9.8 billion during 2050, according to the UN’s Department of Economics and Social Affairs. Along with this increase in population figures will be increases in the demand for food, and agricultural scientists as well as farmers will have to find increasingly innovative ways of boosting their yields and dramatically slashing their waste in order to ensure that we always have the needed food being supplied to various retailers.

Within Africa especially, agriculture is a major driver of inclusive and sustainable growth and has become the foundation for the continent’s food system. According to the World Bank, the region’s food system will come under tremendous strain in the coming decades. Amongst other causes are a population increasing by 1.3 billion by the year 2050, while production of Africa’s staple crops – maize – could shrink by up to 40% by the same year, due to factors such as climate change.

Monash South Africa has partnered with agricultural company and supplier of crop protection solutions – Villa Crop – in response to the need for training and skills within the agricultural sector.

Whether it’s facing a drought or fall armyworm, our country needs professionals in the field who know how to support and solve problems that are faced in the agriculture industry every day. There is a range of short courses to upskill and reskill people who are already in the industry or are looking to re-enter it, including Citrus Crop Cultivation, PCO: Fly Management and Control, Weed Management – Principles and Practices and Disease Management: Principles and Practices.

The partnership between Villa and MSA was formed out of a need to build capacities not only for agricultural production, but also to equip a broader range of professionals and practitioners with the necessary skills to engage successfully with the key nodes (links) in the agricultural value chain.

Doing so will provide them with even more business opportunities. For instance, by studying Crop Cultivation: Wheat and Barley, entrepreneurs will be able to provide products such as malt to a brewery or craft beer maker. Ultimately, these kind of courses will prove to be a great investment in their future careers.