R80 million has been budgeted for the new farming school and a core offering will be to develop cannabis farming and processing skills.
An agricultural college is to be built in Ntabankulu in the Eastern Cape that will have a cannabis processing facility.
Municipal spokesperson Lungisile Mzanywa told News 24 that R80 million had been budgeted for the first phase of the Agricultural College Campus. He said this followed an engagement between the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, and the mayor for Ntabankulu Local Municipality, Councillor Tsileng Sobuthongo.
Mzanywa said: “Before the end of April, we expect to do sod turning with Nzimande. This intervention will be a gamechanger in the economic development of Ntabankulu. We expect property development of Ntabankulu. We expect the property industry to increase because a lot of students will look for places to rent; the retail industry (increase in buying power), taxi industry (frequent commuting of students) and other businesses will benefit from this.”
Mzanywa added that they also expect an increase in confidence of investors in Ntabankulu. He said that there is new land designated for this college.
“This development is expected to bring a better change to young people of this area. Farmers who are ploughing cannabis are also expected to benefit from this as the cannabis processing plant will be done in the buildings of this college,” said Mzanywa.
“By bringing this change, surely it will make our young people to have something to do and to stay away from drugs and abusing alcohol. I can confirm that this college will not only be used by youth from Ntabankulu area, but also all those who are interested in pursuing their dreams will use it” he said.