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Ministry develops tactics to improve agriculture

Dry Pinto Beans

July 14, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

THE Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) says it is mandated to develop appropriate agricultural technologies for improved and sustainable agriculture.

Among others, the department transfers relevant scientific knowledge and information to all stakeholders for sustainable development of agriculture.

To do this, the Agronomy Section and the Socio-Economics & Extension Division of the DRA collaboratively implement the Lesotho Adaptation of Small-Scale Agricultural Production project (LASAP) activities with farmers in Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Berea, Mafeteng and Quthing.

The research demonstrations on maize, beans, sunflower, sorghum and potatoes were conducted with farmers in different locations in the five districts.

Also, two field days were recently conducted in both Berea and Quthing.

The purpose of the field days according to DAR was to showcase sorghum, bean, sunflower and potato varieties and maize maturing at different times to the farmers.

The department said this will among others help farmers make proper choices of varieties that respond to climate change.

“The RAM pump for irrigation and an oil press machine for extraction of sunflower oil were also displayed to the farmers,” DAR said.

These research demonstrations were based on the priorities of Basotho farmers related to improving crop production against the effects of climate change.

Access to diverse valuable crop production techniques was highly considered.

Climate change effects are further threatening an already challenging crop mega environment in Lesotho, which are identified as subject to climate change effects, with high vulnerability and low adoption capacity.

The District Agricultural Officers in Berea and Quthing applauded the farmers for being involved in the research demonstrations in order to witness performance of various crop varieties.

 The farmers were requested to share information and experience on what they witnessed with their fellow farmers.

 On the other hand, farmers involved in the demonstrations expressed their satisfaction on the performance of crop varieties demonstrated.

They encouraged other farmers to adopt those varieties as it was evident that food insecurity challenges could be solved.

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Maize, bean, sorghum and sunflower varieties were also put on display.

 Characteristics of these varieties were stated to the farmers so that they could make informed decisions in selecting appropriate seeds.

The DAR Principal Researcher Kakole Likotsi gave an overview of DAR and LASAP implemented activities and led the participants through different research demonstration plots.

This is where detailed explanations regarding the research were made.  

They included varieties planted, different sowing space for maize, planting time, projected yields and overall crop management practices used.

Questions and discussion sessions between farmers, extension agents and researchers were provided.

A total of 275 farmers participated in these field days whereby 155 farmers were in Berea and 120 were in Quthing respectively.



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