Rugby exchange is rooted in Agriculture and Food Security
On Friday, 21 April, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, hosted a breakfast at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute (EATI) in honour of a visiting group of French rugby players from the French agricultural college, the Centre de Formation Professionelle et de Promotion Agricole de Beaune (CFPPA).
The CFPPA and the EATI have had an exchange programme since 2004.
According to Meyer, the exchange aims to strengthen academic and economic ties between these wine-growing regions.
Mr Paul Cavalier, Cooperation & Cultural Programme Attaché from the French Consulate in Cape Town, described the visit as a sign of hope and resilience.
Cavalier said: “It is a great pleasure for the French government that this agreement has stood the test of time. Our cooperation is rooted in agriculture and food security. However, it is more than a partnership and beneficial to our countries.”
Meyer said: “It is based on the principle of reciprocity. On an annual basis, Elsenburg Agricultural Institute selects and sends at least ten cellar worker students to the CFPPA Burgundy for training. In return, the Western Cape annually hosts students from Burgundy for training at Elsenburg College and on wine estates in the Western Cape. In addition, every alternate year, a rugby team from Elsenburg visits the CFPPA and visa versa.”
Meyer added that the programme focuses on viticulture and cellar technology education.
“It provides vocational training and social upliftment to wine agri-workers with no formal qualification up to NQF level 4”, said Meyer.
“The project has been broadened to include lecturer exchange. It also provides for the training of agricultural extension staff involved in supporting and establishing new black farmers in the land reform programme”, adds Meyer.
“The agreement offers to students HOPE (Higher Opportunities for People to Excel)”, concluded Meyer.