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Jan. 27, 2022

EDITOR

2 min read

338 000 should not go hungry

338 000 should not go hungry

Sustainable agriculture in Lesotho

Story highlights

  • Elsewhere around the world, people are worried about getting a car, interest rates and inflation among others
  • The DMA has also announced that it bought beans worth M11 million from 1 481 farmers

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IT is disastrous that the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) estimates that a total of 338 000 Basotho, about 23 percent of the population, faces hunger this year in a country endowed with water, good soils and minerals.

Elsewhere around the world, people are worried about getting a car, interest rates, inflation and yet we are worried about life’s most basic necessity - food.

What exactly should be done for Basotho to be able to feed themselves without handouts?

We are in a crisis and it seems it will not go away anytime soon. If it is not drought, it is heavy rains that destroy our crops. So, we blame our lack of food on the weather? What if there was no weather at all? What would life be like?

But if you looked all over the country, fields lay fallow and the people who are supposed to farm are queuing for jobs in Maseru, because getting hired is an easy way out. People are so used to getting things from others that they want to be fed.

Someone who grew up in a rented two-roomed house in Maseru may not be able to grow a potato but the majority of the people from the rural areas certainly know how to plough and grow crops.

These are the people who are supposed to feed the nation and make a living out of it, but they think the towns are trendy and have therefore ignored farming.

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It is not clear if this is a real want for jobs or pure laziness.

The DMA has also announced that it bought beans worth M11 million from 1 481 farmers, an indication that Basotho can really farm not only to eat but to make profit.

Heavy rains and drought are risks involved in the farming business but the question is: How do you we hedge against these risks? If we grow crops like peasant farmers, then we are even at a higher risk.

Agriculture is expected to boost the economy to a moderate growth of 2.6 percent, meaning there is hope for farming except that some Basotho who are supposed to farm are a hopeless bunch.

Of course, not all of us can grow crops or the economy will stagnate. This country needs people who will increase crop production and improve lives.

Not only is the farming business lean but all the sectors of the economy are going through a hard time too. So let us stop blaming the weather and do our job to feed the nation. Basotho who come from the farming areas should go back home and grow crops.

Leave the factory and taxi jobs to the township people.

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