Botswana: President Masisi Spurs Young Farmer

Ramongala — Young farmer, Mooketsi Oleseng is set for a bright future in small stock farming with the donation of a pedigree meat master ram by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi

Speaking during the occasion at Garamongala lands in the Moshupa/Manyana constituency on October 24, Dr Masisi said he was inspired to donate, by the young man's alluring story of hardwork, perseverance and diversification.

That, the young farmer started it all with a driving school business then reinvested the proceeds into the small stock business and other projects the President said, was no small feat and wished the donation could spur him to shepherd his businesses to long term survival.

The President unveiled that the meat master breed was a combination of dorper and damara sheep, adding that it grows fast and fights predators among others.

He shared that he started the initiated with his own stock inspired by the national ideal of shared prosperity but other capable Batswana bought into the vision and started contributing to the cause.

Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Ms Beauty Manake who had accompanied the President, promised that her ministry would arrange a small stock crash course at Lobu government farm in the Kgalagadi South area for Mr Oleseng with a view to capacitating him to run the venture as a business.

She said the ram would go a long way in improving Mr Oleseng's stock quality.

In view of the export market, she argued that it was imperative for Batswana to strive to produce both numbers and quality.

She further revealed that her ministry was racing against time to re-engineer such programmes as LIMID and ISPAAD to make them more relevant to farmers.

She said President Masisi also urged the ministry to come up with area specific programmes that would sufficiently address the needs of farmers across the country rather than taking a blanket approach.

The Moshupa/Manyana MP Mr Karabo Gare in his vote of thanks, applauded President Masisi for the insight.

Mr Gare also Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security confirmed that government had secured a lucrative small stock market outside the country and urged residents and Batswana at large to take advantage of the dispensation.

Kgosi Kebinatshwene Mosielele of Manyana for his part said the nation was blessed to have a leader who had the welfare of the nation at heart and encouraged all Batswana to take advantage of the available opportunities and free themselves from the shackles of poverty.

In an interview on the sidelines of the event Vision 2036 coordinator Mr Christopher Molomo stressed that the nation needed numbers, quality and diversity in terms of breeds in order to compete for the small stock market with other nations.

With the initiative, he said President Masisi was saying "Let's all go back to the cross-roads and start doing farming as business," he said. Given the fact that farming was the mainstay of the nation's economy at Independence, he argued that it was not a big ask.

Mr Oleseng meanwhile described the donation as a balm for his soul and a springboard to greater things ahead.

Emotionally charged, he promised to someday donate the ram's offsprings towards the same cause and help President Masisi help other Batswana.

He shared that he started the small stock business in 2011 after some learner drivers had paid him with 10 goats and later bought six sheep 2016 in the process.

As the symbiotic relationship continued, he sold 22 goats to buy two cars for the driving school business and other projects like shelter for his family.

Altogether, he sold 54 goats and now left with 118 and 47 sheep.

Meanwhile President had earlier on donated a Kalahari red buck to a farmer at Gakgolomu farms near Lotlhakane West still in the constituency.

Source : BOPA

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