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New agronomist in Nelspruit area sees agriculture as growth sector

19 Jun 2015

“I think now, more than ever, people can see the shortage of qualified individuals in the agricultural sector. At Stellenbosch University more and more young people apply to study agriculture. I believe Agriculture is the future, not just for young people in South Africa but worldwide.”

Michael Esmeraldo

Meet Michael Esmeraldo, newly appointed Agronomist in the Nelspruit area at Netafim SA, with plans to make a big impact in the agricultural sector. Having started his studies in Wine and Viticulture, he soon realised he doesn’t need to study wine to enjoy it! He soon turned his focus to Agronomy and Agricultural Economics providing an ideal business background to complement his broader spectrum knowledge of agriculture. He is currently busy with his M.Sc. in Soil Science.

Labour and land reform issues remain worrisome for Michael. South Africa is one of the few countries where government does not support farmers, yet it is believed that the South African economy as a whole would benefit greatly from agricultural subsidies.

More about Michael

What are your passions?

  • I am passionate about agriculture because I enjoy the outdoors and working with people. I think my job at the moment combines the outdoors and working with people very well. One day I would want my own farm.

What are your plans at Netafim

  • It is important for me to develop trust and good relationships with the farmers in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo area. I would like to make an impact in converting the Macadamia and Citrus market to drip irrigation.

Do you have a mentor?

  • Chris Malan. I am learning a lot from him at the moment. But all the people at Netafim SA have been helping me and serve as mentors in their own right.

Tell us about your family?

  • I have family who live in Middelburg, my father is a lawyer and my mother manages an estate agency. My sister is currently studying law at North-West University.

What do you want to achieve next?

  • I would really like to complete my thesis as soon as possible and then learn as much as I can as quickly as possible from my colleagues and others in the industry. After that I will try to convert the whole country into using drip irrigation, but that might take a while.



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