Mahalapye — Farmers have been urged to take advantage of modern technology to improve quality and increase produce.
Officiating at the annual Mookane Farmers Day held at Letswere Brahman Farm on June 9, District agricultural coordinator, central, Ms Fatima Makgethe said the world population was expected to double by 2050, and that the farming community must change their approach to farming to cope with the demand for food.
Ms Makgethe advised farmers to be committed and keep proper records on what was happening in farms. "Our main concern is that farmers do not keep records. Committing to farming means keeping proper records," she said. Ms Makgethe said proper records helped farmers in pricing their products accordingly since pricing was informed by production costs.
Ms Makgethe also appealed to farmers to seek assistance from officers at the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Production to enhance their knowledge. She said the use of modern technology would not only improve the quality of products, but also assist in coping with unprecedented weather conditions.
As a result of global warming, Ms Makgethe said weather changes were unpredictable and urged farmers to be at par with technological changes in order to cope with weather patterns.She also advised farmers to bear in mind issues of environmental conservation, saying a clean environment was vital in food production. She noted that during seasonal activities such as phane harvesting and cutting of thatch grass, people camped in the bush and that sanitation and the safe disposal of human waste was amajor concern.
On the theme of the day: Modern technology, a key to today's farming market, Ms Makgethe said the main issue was to encourage the farming community to adopt modern farming methods in order to cope with prevailing weather conditions. Ms Makgethe also appealed to farmers to work in unison and benchmark from each other.
Ms Makgethe also urged government to give priority to those who had proved to be determined and consistent in food production.
She said programmes such as ISPAAD were good but did not produce positive results.
Managing director of Lesedi Motors, the sponsors of the event, Mr Duncan April said technology was an important aspect of the 21st century, and that it has had an impact on culture, the environment and everyday living. Mr April said as a company trading in motor vehicles, they were mindful of the environment.
He noted that the company had launched a vehicle in Portugal which was fully electric and unlikely to pollute the environment.
MP for Mahalapye East, who is also Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso applauded the trio of Mr Phenyo Nthase, twin brothers Thapelo and Thebe Setlalekgosi for initiating the annual Mookane Farmers Day.
Source : BOPA