11 April 2019

Botswana: Time to Revolutionise Agricultural Practices - Councillor

Maokane — Councillor for Manyana/Mogonye Mr Peter Sethibe has advised farmers to revolutionise.

Mr Sethibe said this when giving a keynote address at a farmers' field day organised by Maokane Farmers' Committee with the assistance of the Department of Crop Production office in Maokane recently.

The event was held at Mosadimogolo farms.

He called on farmers to approach agriculture in a smart way to increase productivity and returns.

He urged farmers to take farming seriously, exercise diligence and utilise modern practices.

With the event held under the theme: 'Smart Agriculture and Smart Farmers for Better Results,' Mr Sethibe noted that farmers needed to change the trends and dynamics of agriculture for a better future.

He said the high costs of smart agriculture should not deter them, as government was available to assist.

He said it was crucial to test soils to help farmers know crops that are suitable for their fields and also understand the types of fertilizers to use to realise better results.

Mr Sethibe also noted that government was spending a lot of money on initiatives such as Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture (ISPAAD), with the aim of alleviating poverty and therefore encouraged more farmers to utilise them.

He also advised farmers to consider planting crops that could yield better results in their areas, adding, "this area is good for beans and sorghum. Take advantage of that and plant those as that way you stand better chances of producing satisfactory results."

Mr Sethibe shared that it was more profitable to sell green maize as both individuals and the government were willing to buy, adding that lab-lab had also proven to be profitable, and urged farmers to tap into it to realise better returns.

For her part, Southern District Agricultural Coordinator, Ms Monia Mfolwe noted that farmers needed to find ways of producing more even in the challenging times.

"We have been given the duty and responsibility to produce food for our people and we need to do that regardless of the situation," Ms Mfolwe said.

She also thanked the stakeholders for the active role in ensuring that there are improvements in the fields.

"Let me thank Haskins, Seed-Co, tractor owners in this area, and other stakeholders for supporting such activities," she said.

She said they were priming to buy seeds as part of their preparations for this year's ploughing season.

"We need to be very strategic. There is need to learn, change and make a difference at our fields," she said.

She noted that field days were needed for farmers' development.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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