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HandPicked Agriskills
Development Programme

Raising a vibrant new crop of agricultural entrepreneurs

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Sowing the seeds of informal growth

South Africa has a critical scarcity of formal jobs, especially among youth. This is a blow to household income and food security, with millions living in hunger.

We believe that through our HandPicked agriskills development programme, we can stimulate local economies, boost sustainable community food production, and empower growers to shift from consumers to producers.

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Our approach

HandPicked is a fresh-thinking skills development programme that cultivates youth entrepreneurship in agriculture. Interns are equipped with knowledge, experience and tools to establish thriving growing hubs or pursue careers in agribusiness. They shift from consumers to producers, stimulate local economies, boost sustainable food production – and take the future into their own hands.

Programme impact in FY2023
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0 %

of HandPicked interns
are female

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0

agribusinesses
established

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0

agrihubs
established

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0

home growers
upskilled

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tertiary students bolstered
with modern skills

Our Footprint
HandPicked provides training and establishes agri-incubators in communities we have identified.
The first two growing hubs were established in KwaZulu-Natal at Mr Price Group’s support centre in Durban and near the group’s main distribution centre in Hammarsdale. HandPicked is expanding to new locations, including Kenilworth in the Western Cape, East London in the Eastern Cape; and Moruleng in the North West.

Learn more
Our approach

HandPicked is a fresh-thinking skills development programme that cultivates youth entrepreneurship in agriculture. Interns are equipped with knowledge, experience and tools to establish thriving growing hubs or pursue careers in agribusiness. They shift from consumers to producers, stimulate local economies, boost sustainable food production – and take the future into their own hands.

HandPicked is cultivating green shoots of change!
We select candidates from tertiary institutions and community engagements with a passion for crop production. Over 12 months, they gain agribusiness skills, life skills and hands-on farming experience, including seedling production, farm management and modern crop production.
HandPicked maximises scarce resources
Crops are grown hydroponically in tunnels, utilising African Grower vertical growing technology. By planting in vertical towers, using coconut coir as the growing medium, more food can be grown using less water, less space and in less time than traditional field crops. Our green-fingered implementation partner is Fresh Life Produce.
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HandPicked graduates are primed to become self-sufficient food producers
Whether they are based in rural or urban communities, they are empowered to create economic opportunities and run sustainable growing hubs and microbusinesses.
Support our
agripreneurs

Support HandPicked interns today and plant the seeds to a fairer future where our youth are economically engaged and empowered.

Support community
home growers

Embrace our growing family of home growers and boost local entrepreneurship and food security. Your support will help create healthier, more stable communities.

Our stories
Ready, steady, grow! 

  LEARNERS at Vukuziphathe Primary School in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, sang

Become a partner

Partner with HandPicked today and help shape a bold new generation of sustainable farmers. Your investment will promote local economic growth, bridge the gap between farm and table, and improve the health, wellbeing and stability of communities.

What are the benefits of HandPicked?
  • Shifts growers from consumers to producers
  • Stimulates local jobs and community food production
  • Tackles food insecurity and supports sustainability
  • Maximises scarce natural resources
Our partners
Click here for information and
resources from HandPicked
Answers to the most frequently asked
questions about HandPicked

No, unfortunately not. The HandPicked programme works with agriculture students who have already completed their agricultural qualification.

Tertiary candidates should be unemployed South African citizens, aged 18 to 33, with a completed tertiary qualification in agriculture.

Applicants for the internship need to hold a completed diploma or degree in agriculture, farm management or crop management. HandPicked focuses only on crop production but we will consider applicants from other agricultural sectors if their passion lies in crop production.

No. Preference is however given to candidates who live in, or near, communities where HandPicked will be setting up agri-incubators.

We open training near sites that we are expanding into.

It’s a 12-month internship. Interns learn life skills, crop growth production, farming management, agricultural management, agriculture economics and agribusiness skills.

On successful completion of the internship, interns will be mentored on their agripreneurial journey.

Currently, candidates do not apply to us. As far as possible, we source applicants from communities where agri-incubators are to be set up. We engage with communities for suitable applicants to ensure we are working with, and uplifting, the target community.

No, HandPicked does not provide sponsorships. Please see Mr Price Foundation’s donation request application page.
Still have a question?

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