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Dear Marg, Thank you for the very noble questions: Foremost, you realize that there has been and still exists a gap on how football is linked with Agriculture. In addressing this, SEP has developed integrated life skills games that allow Agriculture to be trained in the pitch, and not only off the pitch as we used to do before. Hence, we have put our football and Agriculture training into the following thematic areas: 1: Agriculture for Employability - Through integrated football training session, we explore various areas through which agriculture contributes to employability and enterprise - games are designed that self explain these concerns. 2: Myths a round Agriculture as is perceived by the youth/young people: In Africa, and almost across the world, the young people associate Agriculture with lack of proper education, ie Farming is for those who failed in school; agriculture is for the poor, for the old or is a form of punishment. A game has been developed to help demystify these myths. 3: Agriculture for Food Security - How does Agriculture provide food security? 4: Agriculture and Health living: How does Agriculture promote healthy living among players and the wider community? 5:Agriculture and increased access and retained in schools, etc
In this context, Football sessions re used to educate through lifeskills, hence as much as we learn football skills, we also train the youth on the importance of taking part in Agriculture.
In your second question, the youths who are trained in the pitch are again trained, this time a round off the pitch (From the SEP Nucleus /demonstration Unit) on good agricultural practices using SEP curriculum. They are then supported through the provision of fertilizers, seeds and field follow ups to ensure they correctly replicate their kills in their farms. The support is given by SEP trained Community Mentor Coaches.
With this approach, the youth become part of economic production in the community, help achieve food security through their agricultural produce and create employment opportunities among themselves as well as meeting their school related costs.
Conclusion: Yes, we train both football and Agricultural skills, and agriculture in this context is trained both in and off the pitch. Thank you