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Agriculture tours and exhibition set for October

Sept. 20, 2018 3 min read

The world over, agriculture and the soil play a very sacrosanct role in people’s and animals’ lives, both as the source of all food and any medicinal plants known. In actual fact, anything consumed as food comes from the soil.

Because of the importance of agriculture in creating sustainable income generation and Local Economic Development, Young Lesotho Farmers Association (YLFA) together with other associations and up-coming individual Basotho farmers have organised a local farm tour. This initiative was started back in 2012 by individuals who later formed YLFA. The culture of touring the farms has proved beneficial to motivating and fostering sustainable networks amongst Basotho farmers as well as networks with other farmers from all over the world.

“Agricultural farming industry and its other related sectors in Lesotho is weak, except Wool and Mohair. However, since the start of the YLFA facebook page which was subsequently registered as a legal association, the resultant interaction and communication has helped the growth of agricultural interest and awareness in Lesotho”, Says Mr Thabiso J. Mats’oele . He continued that this year the YLFA farmers have organised an event through which they plan to visit various Basotho farms so as to promote and learn from each other.

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“In Lesotho we have dedicated and passionate young and old people in farming. The initiative is giving them the right attention they need to grow and upgrade their farming. It was only last year when we were in North West South Africa where we saw a free range, Bushveld, farmer who rakes in an annually income of R1.2 Million. This made some of the farmers to come back home and increased their production”, Mats’oele adds.

Currently in Lesotho, says Mats’oele, “We now have farmers who sell around 150000 layer chickens and the income generation impact is huge and more of our farmers are now expanding. The money that we make in our scale per annum in Lesotho is far more than other civil servants annual income”. As the chief organiser of this year’s event, Thabiso Mats'oele is farming both Koekoekoe and Ducks. The minimum price for a duck is R150 and that of Koekoek is R85, and with annual selling quantity of 500 each makes YLFA farmers’ income decent for sustainable Lesotho’s middle class livelihoods .

This year’s planned farm visits to Basotho farms have been organised under the “Temo ke Bophelo” and Mr Mats’oele stresses that all farmers, any aspiring farmers as well as any person wishing to explore Lesotho’s farming industry are all invited to the event. Dates for the tour are 4thand 5th October, whereby a tour of Leribe happens on the 4th and Maseru on the 5th. The tours will be wrapped up with an exhibition on the 6th at Sethaleng sa Mopapa near Maseru Mall. For the tours, Mr Mats’oele says everything is free except the transport to such farms that shall be visited.

“At Sethaleng Sa Mopapa we will be displaying Basotho’s agricultural products and produce and we are looking forward to see Basotho farmers use that platforms to advertise and sell themselves through their work. This is the chance to prove that we want to produce. All sectors of businesses are also invited because in one way or the other business is inter related,” according to Mats’oele.

Among some of the items that Mats’oele highlights as necessary for farmers to bring along for a successful display at the exhibition, stuff that will communicate to the world that Basotho farmers  are ready for business:

     Flyers printed your work
     Table with sample of meat produce
     Posters with photos of your products
     Tent and table with motoho or Mangangajane
     Sample of your beans and sorgum

The public, stakeholders, dignitaries have also been invited to the exhibition.

     BEDCO is partnering
     Lesotho Flour mills is invited
     Media houses are invited
     Pick and Pay will also be there as potential buyers of Basotho farmers’ produce.

For free registration and further information people can contact: 59121128 and 59988925.

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