20 August 2017

Botswana: Limid Programme Helps Velskoen

Gaborone — When he failed his form three years ago, his future became uncertain.

The experience forced him to think outside the box and started knocking on government offices seeking financial assistance.

Eventually, Ministry of Agriculture, through the Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID) programme came to his rescue.

Today, Mr Kedikapile Velskoen's name is mentioned among new generation farmers and agro-entrepreneurs.

According to Mr Velskoen, the greatest thing that has hindered most youth from rising above poverty is the thinking that securing a white collar job along the lines of

one's educational background is the way to go.

He said the agricultural sector had a large market and potential to contribute positively to the economy of the land.

The Kolonkwaneng born sheep farmer said he started off with 19 sheep and a ram in 2013 and had never looked back as he went on a benchmarking mission with well-known and established farmers in the Kgalagadi South region.

"After getting my sheep I started seeking advice from established farmers in my region, who have been in the trade for sometime.

I learnt how to breed sheep and which breed to keep.

I sold some of the Tswana breed I kept and bought the dorper breed," he said.

The results of his hard work and sweat began to pay off because last year when he participated in the Kgalagadi Region Agricultural Show, his ewes and rams impressed.

That he said gave him courage as he went on to compete at the National Agriculture Show where his dorper ewes and ram took positions two and three respectively.

"My participation in the show last year really encouraged me to put a little more effort and this year I am proud to say I got the Junior Championship in the two tooth ram category and a prize money of P5 400 for a championship belt, P700 for reaching the final and a trophy," he said.

Two of his sheep also managed to make it to the final stage getting position two and three and grabbing P500 and P300.

I also sold a 10-month-old local breed ram for P7 000, something that proved the show was a worthwhile platform, Mr Velskoen said.

He encouraged the youth to venture into agriculture as it could improve their lives, adding that farming did not hinder one from using technology as he was one farmer who used social media to advertise his business, seek advice from fellow farmers and chat with friends.

He said he desired to grow as a farmer to an extent of developing other young farmers and being able to feed the nation.

Source: BOPA

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