Natural Resources College (NRC) students have been urged to work in rural areas after graduation because that is where there is more agricultural work.
Speaking during a symposium of 251 students from seven different academic disciplines at the college’s campus in Lilongwe on Monday, the college’s principal Professor Timothy Gondwe said many graduates from NRC shun working in rural areas in preference of urban areas.
He said: “At NRC, we train students so that they can work in rural areas to help farmers. Most farmers live in rural areas so we don’t expect our graduates to be in urban areas. Unfortunately, most of our graduates refuse to work in rural areas. This is bad.
“It is my plea to the graduating students that they should be ready to work in rural areas so that they can bring innovations to farming.”
Gondwe said some parents are making the situation worse by discouraging their children from working in rural areas.
The symposium’s organising committee chairperson, environmental management student Prince Sibanda, said the students are ready to work in rural areas.
“Yes, many NRC graduates have shunned working in rural areas, but I can promise that the current crop of students has passion for the career and they are ready to work in rural areas,” said Sibanda.
Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) deputy vice-chancellor Professor Emmanuel Kaunda, who was the guest of honour at the symposium, said rural electrification and rural growth centre initiatives will attract more graduates to work in rural areas. n