Mabule — Given the number of cattle he has received as gifts from the nation as he bid them farewell, President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse khama Ian Khama says he is convinced that he has been given a mandate of being a full time farmer.
When accepting gifts from farmers in Banyana Farms area, the President whose term comes to an end March 31 said since last year, he had been showered with gifts suggesting that he must brace himself for the farm life.
Farmers from Molopo and Banyana region gave him at least 42 cattle, a horse and a sheep, to which he expressed gratitude saying the gifts acted as a foundation or a starting point since he would be venturing into farming.
During welcome remarks, Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Mr Patrick Ralotsia told the President that Banyana Farms was now being leased to farmers who were producing top quality animals to meet market requirement.
He said leasing out farms was a deliberate decision from government as they did not want to be seen as competing with farmers.
Mr Ralotsia challenged farmers that as BMC would be transformed soon, they too should ensure that they produced quality.
He pointed out that Banyana Farms was one area where the President could always come back for benchmarking because it was clear that he was going to have to equip himself with some farm knowledge.
When speaking on behalf of farmers, the board chairperson of Banyana Farmers Association Mr Oabona Kgengwenyane said they were grateful for the contribution that government had on farming.
He however said they still had challenges such as bad road network and communication system.
The President said funds permitting, roads network would be improved and where possible tarred, adding that even telecommunications should not be a problem as service providers could always find a way around that.
Area Member of Parliament Mr Frans van der Westhuizen urged Banyana and Molopo farmers to rise to the occasion when it came to activities such as the district show.
He pointed out that the reason why Ghanzi show was successful was because of farmers who exhibited quality products, saying they too may do that.
Source : BOPA