SAAI launches new scholarship: National Certificate in Plant Production – Cannabis & Hemp

As the cannabis and hemp industries are gathering momentum in South Africa, it is important to ensure that opportunities are offered to those less fortunate. Earlier this year, Africa’s leading cannabis education and training company, Cheeba Cannabis Academy partnered with leading online agricultural school, AGRICOLLEGES international to launch an AgriSETA accredited program called “National Certificate in Plant Production – Cannabis and Hemp” (NQF Level 4; SAQA ID: 49009).

The parties have now partnered with the family farming network SAAI (Southern African Agri Initiative), who represents over 9,000 family farms to launch an annual scholarship program for the course. The scholarship will facilitate two students per year and is aimed at underprivileged candidates who have a passion for and an interest in cannabis or hemp cultivation in South Africa. The course is a one-year online course comprising 35 hours per week. Students can complete it from anywhere. It includes ten lecture-led Zoom classes as well as a seven-day practical at a cannabis farm in Gauteng towards the end of the course.

The opportunity presents itself at a time when legislation about the South African cannabis industry is opening up. Commercial cannabis farms are already in operation to grow medicinal cannabis regulated by SAHPRA (South African Health Products Regulatory Authority), while DALRRD (Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development) recently started issuing hemp licenses to farmers.

The scholarship includes the full tuition fee for the one-year course as well as transport, food, and accommodation for the seven-day practical. The successful candidates need to have their own digital devices to complete the course as well as adequate internet connection and data to attend one two-hour Zoom lecture per month.

Minimum requirements:

  • Applicants must be South African citizens and come from disadvantaged
  • Applicants must be 18 years or
  • Applicants must have a minimum grade 10 or equivalent
  • Applicants are required to submit a reflective essay of 2,000 words on who they are and why they believe they should be considered for such a scholarship as well as their curriculum vitae.

The full-time program provides learners with the opportunity to engage in farm management and operational activities relevant to plant production in the cannabis and hemp industries. The program will equip learners with the necessary skills to start their own small-scale cannabis or hemp farms and provide important skills needed for those seeking employment in the agricultural side of the cannabis and hemp industries.

“We are proud to have partnered with SAAI to bring this unique opportunity to our people. There is a lot of buzz about Cannabis and it is important that no one is left behind and that opportunities are made available for the less fortunate in an attempt to alleviate poverty and drive employment”, says Linda Siboto, co-founder and Director of Cheeba Cannabis Academy.

SAAI CEO, Francois Rossouw shares this sentiment: “We are excited by the emerging cannabis and hemp industries and the opportunities that are being opened up to our farming community. We must, however, embrace this as an opportunity to uplift our underprivileged communities and we are proud to launch this scholarship as a step towards this with Cheeba and Agricolleges.”

Applications can be completed at: