Dikgonnye — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has expressed the hope that the small stock initiative would translate into cross-border business opportunities and collaborations.
The President, who donated a buck to Mr Jeremiah Rakgati at Makanyane lands in the Kgatleng District yesterday, therefore encouraged the beneficiary to grow his small stock by embracing new technologies.
He also advised him to involve professional bodies such as BUAN to assist him with various aspects of small stock farming such as feed.
Accompanied by Namibian and Zambian high commissioners Messrs Asser Kapere and Mwaza Kapeya respectively, Dr Masisi reiterated his appeal to beneficiaries to keep up the sharing spirit by either selling or gifting others with the offspring of the animals they had received.
President Masisi explained that the initiative to assist up-and-coming small stock farmers was prompted by government's resolve to empower citizens and his determination to support the agricultural sector towards attainment of food security.
The President said even though he continued to get assistance from other small stock farmers, he also donated from his own kraal.
Commenting, Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Mr Karabo Gare said the President's initiative would get the country closer to achieving food security.
Mr Gare told the beneficiary that his ministry would empower him with information about small stock farming information and its value chain.
"We will engage with him so that he is trained properly and adequately for him to realize his full potential with regards to small stock production," he said.
Appreciating the present, Mr Rakgati promised to hold steadfast in nurturing and growing his small stock.
Mr Rakgati, whose journey started in 2014 with Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture funding, currently owns 80 goats and two bucks.
In 2016, he sold 90 goats to assist his parents in rebuilding their house which was gutted by fire and supplied the LIMID programme with 39 goats the same year.
From 2017 to 2019, Mr Rakgati managed to buy 36 cattle and 30 sheep but unfortunately lost the latter due to plant poisoning.
For his part, area MP and also Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development Mr Mmusi Kgafela praised Mr Rakgati for venturing into small stock farming at a young age.
He said government would continue to encourage the youth to get involved in agriculture.
Source : BOPA