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6 June, 2021
Talk 2 Farmer

Interview with Khani Hlungwani

Khani Hlungwani is an analyst in the commodity markets and foresight division of the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP). She is responsible for updating and data management of macro-economic and international price data and the development and maintenance of sectoral PE models for selected South African commodities. .
Through model development and research, Khani has gained valuable experience related to the beef industry in South Africa. In this interview, Khani talks about her highly rewarding career path and how mentoring has contributed to her journey.

What did you want to be as a child when you 'grew up? How did you find out about your current career and what is it that attracted you to it?

Like most people, I thought I would be a doctor, a paediatrician, to be exact. However, I realised I couldn't stand the sight of blood and suffering children. I then enrolled in a chemical engineering degree at the University of Pretoria with the hope of working in the food industry. By then, I knew I wanted a career in the food industry but I did not want to be a food scientist as I thought that would limit me to a lab, and I very much love working with people.

Engineering did not provide me with the excitement or the opportunities that I was seeking. So, I then spoke to one of the professors and told him my issue. We then looked at different options until I found agricultural economics. I have never heard of it before, but it was everything I was looking for. I have always loved economics and wondered how markets worked, how trade happens between countries and who makes the decisions. When I first switched to the Agricultural Economics course, I spent my birthday at the library, and I loved every minute of it. There was, and still is, so much for me to learn, and that is exciting. 

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