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SADP urges farmers to expand production

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Likopo Mahase

July 19, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

THE Project Director of the Smallholder Agricultural Development II (SADP II) ’Malichaba Rosalia Nkhetha says the project is meant to promote climate smart agricultural practices and advisory services.

The project, she further showed will strengthen the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers to adjust and modify their production system in order to minimise the potential future impacts from climate variability.  

Mrs Nkhetha was speaking on Thursday in Qacha’s Nek where the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Security was implementing the SADP II project with the Partial Credit Fund that will cover all the 10 districts of Lesotho. 
The ministry, she said has an agreement with the Lesotho PostBank to assist Basotho with funds to expand their farming, adding that they are given a chance to purchase new tractors and other agricultural implements.

Mpaki Makara from SADP said with the project, the expectations are to improve commercial farming and nutrition. 
He said since His Majesty King Letsie III’s appointment as Nutrition Champion, the country has realised the need to advocate for proper intake of nutritious food. 
The expected investment areas amongst others will be protected agriculture, being shade nets, low tunnels and greenhouses and processing. Milling, butcheries, snacks production, fish canning and processing, fruit drying, dairy processed products and beekeeping will also benefit from the project.  
On behalf of the Lesotho Postbank, Khauhelo Ramakongoane said eligible applicants will include Lesotho nationals, registered individual farmers or groups with one year in operation in possession of a business form C or lease. 
The government, he said has put on the table 30 percent while the bank will provide 70 percent with smallholders expected to furnish 10 percent surety.

The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Security Likopo Mahase said agriculture has been given first priority by the government having realised that malnutrition, stunting and other related diseases are escalating among Basotho.

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He appealed to smallholders that will be lucky to access the partial credit funds to work hard in order for the project to succeed.

He said the aim of the project is to among others overcome the increasing number of malnutrition and stunting in the country.

The minister said this time the projects will be stricter than in the past where people simply took the funds to fulfill their own targets but failed to produce. 
The project was launched in 2019 and is expected to end in 2026. LeNA 

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