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Minister intervenes in wool shed dispute

Tefo Mapesela, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security

Sept. 26, 2020 3 min read

3 min read

Lesotho's Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Tefo Mapesela has strongly urged Teyateyaneng small stock farmers to refrain from running their business with some everlasting disputes in wool sheds, but they rather promote peace and transparency for their growth and economic development.

Mr Mapesela said this on Friday when addressing two disputed groups of small stock farmers being Teyateyaneng Wool and Mohair Growers Association (TWMGA) and Marketing Group which both utilise Teyateyaneng wool shed.
Mr. Mapesela said regardless of farmers affiliating to any wool and mohair growers association or being an independent farmer, every farmer has a right to use the wool shed facility and also a right to access any market of choice where to sell their wool and mohair as opposed from being forced to use one market.
Minister of Agriculture said all they have to do is to promote a competitive trading sphere with their products unlike always being sources of endless fights which ruin their wool and mohair sector.
In resolving the issues which triggered misunderstanding among the disputed small stock farmers groups, Mr. Mapesela ordered both groups to work independently but their committees should draw a joint plan on how they will use the wool shed facility without causing any chaos.

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Sharing the same sentiments, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Mr. Likopo Mahase said they do not have any interests in committees running the wool sheds, but the matter of concern are the government wool sheds which has turned to be a battle ground.
Mr. Mahase said about 66% percent of Basotho people sustain life through wool and mohair sector, so when things do not go well in that sector larger part of the population is badly affected, hence the need to strive for peace and transparency in management of wool and mohair business.
He further urged them to remove politics in wool sheds and by so doing they will enjoy growth in their business and many families will continue to have something to put on their tables.
One of the farmers from Marketing Group, Mr. Makakola Sakoane expressed his happiness by saying it has been their dream to be separated from TWMGA because administration of such body was not suiting them at all due to lack of transparency.
Mr. Sakoane further indicated that up to this far he among those who have not yet received their returns of wool and mohair sales and they are left stranded and what to do because they are about to embark on summer cropping and are they are also supposed to buy medication for small stock.
Also approached for a comment, vice chairperson of TWMGA Mr. Potlako Seliea said they are fully aware that the wool shed is the government property, but their complains were mainly directed to the former TWMGA committee which failed to give them reports and they were very hopeful that Minister of Agriculture will touch more on that but they are dismayed of being separated from their partners in wool and mohair development farmers.
Mr. Seliea said among the issues which triggered some misunderstanding among the groups of small stock farmers include that former committee managed to sell part of the bales of wool for farmers without involving them and failing to give them financial report and all they demanded was transparency.
Meanwhile, the reports indicate that ever since some misunderstandings emerged among the small stock farmers groups, others were attacked, while some were denied access to the wool shed while trying to shear their flock.

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