Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Government extends ploughing season

Government has extended the ploughing and planting season in the southern parts of the country that was supposed to come to a close on January 31. The new deadline is February 7. This was revealed by the Minister of Agriculture Mr Christiaan De Graaff at a kgotla meeting addressed by President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama in Mokatako on Thursday January 30. The minister was responding to pleas from farmers who had complained that the rains had come late.

In his address, President Khama said the Good Hope Sub-district would be upgraded to become a fully-fledged district when funds were available. He explained that the matter had once reached his office but decided the recommendations be done by Kgosi Malope II of Bangwaketse and Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II of Barolong, both under the Southern District. Government has extended the ploughing and planting season in the southern parts of the country that was supposed to come to a close on January 31. The new deadline is February 7.

This was revealed by the Minister of Agriculture Mr Christiaan De Graaff at a kgotla meeting addressed by President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama in Mokatako on Thursday January 30. The minister was responding to pleas from farmers who had complained that the rains had come late. In his address, President Khama said the Good Hope Sub-district would be upgraded to become a fully-fledged district when funds were available. He explained that the matter had once reached his office but decided the recommendations be done by Kgosi Malope II of Bangwaketse and Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II of Barolong, both under the Southern District. President Khama promised to give the residents feedback in due course adding any delays to implement the decision would be a result of financial constraints considering the resources and infrastructural developments that would come with it.

He further revealed that government had also intended to upgrade some other Sub districts across the country to become full districts but the move was done a blow by the current unfavourable economic climate. Kgosi Lotlaamoreng had said the upgrading would afford officers in the Borolong area the necessary authority to make decisions at a higher level within the district for efficient service delivery to the constituents. On other issues, President Khama said citizen empowerment programmes and initiatives would depart from a one -size -fits- all kind of approach. He said in areas where cluster fencing under the ISPAAD programme might not be suitable, individual fencing should also be considered. He also explained that the 50 per cent subsidy for both individual and cluster fencing components under the ISPAAD programme was meant to encourage farmers to show commitment. He said government used to offer an 85 per cent fencing subsidy under the defunct ALDEP programme but production was very low as a result of lack of commitment on the part of some farmers. “This is a partnership, government can never afford to foot all the bills, the 50/50 contribution is to encourage you to also show commitment,” he said.

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