AS we report elsewhere in this paper, the Marketing Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has called on farmers to ensure sufficient production of what the local market needs.
July 1, 2021
3 min read
Call for farmers to mass-produce welcome
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This is good news indeed - when the country and its people are encouraged to work and produce not more for self-sufficiency but for the whole country’s market.
For years Basotho farmers have cried to have this opportunity.
The country has been reliant on imports from South Africa and denying local producers the opportunity to have a stake in the market of their own country.
To this day, many Basotho still prefer South African produce to local. This unfortunate culture is partly due to the fact that Lesotho produces next to naught.
Many Basotho still travel as far as Bloemfontein to buy what they call the ‘best’ – because they have been accustomed to having everything written Proudly South African.
As a country, we should wholeheartedly embrace the Lesotho produce and sound our own pride too.
Basotho should be delighted that the ministry conducts sensitisation sessions for farmers across the country to inform them on the market demands.
This indeed can help farmers to know who they produce for and what quantities would be needed to satisfy the market.
Building a database of this nature is indeed long overdue.
Its implantation is critical to the improvement of local produce so that Basotho’s produce does not go to waste.
Without going political, we remember how happy Basotho farmers were in the past year when the government imposed an import ban on apples, tomatoes and other greens to give Basotho’s produce a first chance to be bought.
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It is such an attitude that can help this country to gradually and successfully reduce its dependence on South Africa.
In 2021, we are probably the only country in the world that still imports match sticks and toothpicks!
This has to stop and we need the ministry of small businesses to help as they do in informing our people of what options they have in every sphere of our market.
The appeal for farmers to group and exchange information on what needs to be produced to feed this nation should be a wake-up call.
Indeed it is highly crucial for farmers to know the dynamics of the market in which they work.
As one farmer said, this is a big advantage for farmers that should be used fully.