Botswana: Farm Earns Kudos for Youth Scheme

Letlhakeng — Chengeta Farm, located along Molepolole-Thebephatshwa road, has been praised for introducing an initiative to help the youth kick-start farming projects.

Visiting the farm Monday, Minister of Youth Development, Sport and Culture Development Mr Tumiso Rakgare applauded the owner Mr Ndinaye Chengeta for the youth development initiative.

Such initiatives were a welcome development as they gave the youth an opportunity to start their own businesses, said the minister.

He said the youth development farm would go a long way in creating youth sustainable businesses that create employment and diversify the economy if well executed.

Minister Rakgare said his visit was prompted by the fact that the initiative benefitted the youth adding the ministry might consider extending some assistance to help it grow.

He commended Mr Chengeta for the initiative to avail farming units to youth to learn skills and better farming methods adding that his contribution to development of youth businesses would not go unrecognised.

Minister Rakgare said time had come for youth to reach out to government instead of the other way round so that those committed and with passion for farming proved themselves.

He applauded the young people who had already enrolled for taking the right step and urged them to take the programme seriously.

Their commitment, he said, would ultimately force government to lend a helping hand.

Mr Rakgare urged the youth to adopt a never give up spirit pointing out that farming was not for the faint-hearted and required perseverance.

The minister suggested that those who did well be profiled so that they could be given support.

Appreciating the minister's visit, Mr Chengeta said the initiative gave the youth an opportunity to learn and be mentored.

He said the farm currently housed 1 000 youths for poultry as well as 600 and 1 000 for goat and sheep production respectively.

He said the youths, who were grouped into teams of 20, contributed P2 500 each towards the business initiative of their choice.

Mr Chengeta said he availed land, water, and electricity for the project and acted as a facilitator in partnership with the Department of Animal Production.

He said he planned to roll out the initiative country-wide so that other youths could benefit.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr Kutlo Senna said small stock business was a long term investment and needed patience.

He said his team was running a zero grazing project which meant they spent a lot of money on feeds and medicine.

Mr Senna said they needed land to allow goats to graze which would help them save money on feeds.

He explained that they were all hands on and worked together towards achieving their dream of a successful small stock production business.

Giving vote of thanks, Kweneng District Commissioner Ms Bernice Berman-Mosime said the initiative was a good concept that needed support of government.

She expressed the hope that the project would bear expected results more so that the district, through different departments, was very supportive of the initiative.

She said it was her prayer that the project would add value to lives through income generation and employment creation opportunities.

Ms Berman-Mosime urged the youth to remain committed to projects and avoid squandering opportunities.

Source : BOPA

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