Residents Want Payment After Harvesting

| April 2, 2015

Tutume residents have requested government to consider making payments for the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD) programme after harvesting has been done.

The residents made the request during a kgotla meeting addressed by the Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Phillip Makgalemele in Tutume on March 31.

The Umbrella Village Development Committee (VDC) chairperson, Mr Kopano Tamari told the minister that although ISPAAD was a success in their village, the problem was that yields were not always as expected.

Mr Tamari said some farmers abandoned their fields as soon as agricultural officials had measured the tilled sections for payments.

He therefore suggested that it would be worthwhile if the government could only make payments after the harvesting period to drill some sense of commitment in farmers in as far as the mordenised way of farming was concerned.

The VDC head highlighted that so far the majority of the fields had been abandoned as people had already received their payments. He noted that some of the fields left to the mercy of birds had the potential to produce good yields, which could have made a difference in terms of produce for this year despite the limited rainfall.

Furthermore, he said failure to produce enough at the fields was one of the factors that resulted in large numbers of people crowding for inclusion in the Ipelegeng programme.

On other issues, Mr Tamari appreciated the government for the continued HIV and AIDS treatment, saying it has helped reduce the death rate in the country.

He also requested that some of their health posts be turned into 24-hour clinics so as to ease congestion currently seen at the primary hospital.

With regards to the poverty eradication programme in their area, the chairperson pointed out that the programme was a good initiative if it could only be implemented as it was planned.

He said with proper implementation many beneficiaries would be leading dignified lives in no time however, he said the challenge was the processes associated with the programme starting from Gaborone down to the regions. Mr Tamari noted that there were delays for beneficiaries to receive the packages, which in many cases came in phases.

Responding, assistant minister Makgalemele said his ministry which is mandated to fight poverty, would make sure that processes did not affect the intended goals of the programme hence they were going around the country to get people’s concerns for better solutions.

Mr Makgalemele appealed to the residents to consider harvesting the limited rainfall the country received to solve some of the poverty eradication projects such as the backyard gardens. “In that regard we could reduce some of the issues regarding the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC),” he pointed out.

Furthermore, he informed the residents that although the economy was slightly improving, it was still at a crucial stage therefore the government could not be able to undertake all the projects Batswana needed.

He urged them to revive the spirit of self-reliance and initiate development projects for their villages which they could undertake on their own without always waiting for the government to intervene.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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