Ralotsia Aises Farmers to Use New Farming Methods

| May 29, 2015

Farmers have been aised to use new farming methods to keep abreast with the current climatic changes.

Addressing residents of Good Hope on Tuesday May 27, agriculture minister, Mr Patrick Ralotsia said the current climatic conditions pose a threat to the conventional methods that have been used hence the need to change farming practices.

Mr Ralotsia said the change in climatic conditions that are said to have been brought by the change in lifestyles have had a negative effect on agricultural produce.

He said the severe heat affects soil moisture content and therefore making it difficult for planted seeds to easily germinate.

This, he said has led to late or none growth of the planted seeds, adding that it was high time farmers find better ways of ensuring better produce in the midst of rising temperatures.

He also urged farmers to work collaboratively with the agricultural officers who are well researched, knowledgeable and thus better placed to guide them on use of new farming methods.

Minister Ralotsia, who is also Kanye North Member of Parliament, expressed concern at the down fall of the Borolong farming area, which for a long time had been the breadbasket of the country.

He also raised concern about unutilised farming land in the area, saying it contributes to less food production. Mr Ralotsia said out of 230 000 hectares of farming land in the Borolong area, only 88 000 had been utilised in the past ploughing season.

He noted that with the 926 000 hectares of land availed for farming in the whole country, if fully utilised the country’s demand on food security can be met.

The minister also raised a concern on the livestock production and the number of cattle which are diagnosed with measles at the time of tests for slaughter.

He said it was evident that most of the cattle do not meet the European Union market requirements due to measles, which he added was caused by human waste.

Commenting, residents decried of shortage of grazing land in their area and requested the minister to consider leasing out one of the ranch for their livestock grazing.

They also expressed concern at the none functionality of the cluster fencing programme which requires a specified land size, as most of the farmers are not into integrated farming, a thing which they said disaantages them from benefiting from cluster fencing.

Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Kgosi Lotlaamoreng of Barolong raised concern over the downfall of the Barolong farming and food production, which, he said was the backbone of the country’s food production.

Kgosi Lotlaamoreng requested the minister and all relevant authorities to look into what could have caused the downfall and work around to bounce back the area into full production.

He also encouraged residents to fully utilise the government programmes such as ISPAAD and LIMID to up their living standard.

Briefing the minister, member of Goodhope District Crop Farmers Association, Mr Johnson Maseng thanked government for the ISPAAD programme which he noted was progressing well in their area.

Mr Maseng requested government to consider including subsistence farmers in the credit grant scheme, a thing he said would be a motivating factor for their growth in production.

He also requested for the establishment of an Agricultural service center in their region, where farming equipment could be accessed easily.

The establishment of a food processing centre in the region, he said could help create employment, hence the need for relevant authorities to consider the idea.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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