The Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Oreeditse Molebatsi, last week reminded cattle farmers that although the government is doing its best to try and arrest the escalating rate of Foot and Mouth (FMD) disease in the North East District, farmers need to take cognizance of the fact that government has insufficient funds and overspending may result in the economy of the country crumbling to ruins.
Molebatsi was responding to a number of concerns by cattle farmers during an FMD Workshop in Francistown that the government’s compensation amount of P 1 795 to farmers whose cattle were diagnosed with FMD was too little.
“I understand and feel the reason why farmers need an increment for the compensation of their cattle, but I want to plead with them to realize that the economy is running at a deficit of 7 billion and should government overspend, the economy might crumble, which will affect all of us again,” he said.
The Minster went on to tell the farmers that although there is hope in the country’s economic recovery from the recent global recession, it would be a high risk for the government to spend recklessly, adding that countries like Greece in Europe have collapsed as they were running at huge deficits. Molebatsi assured the farmers that he would present the proposal for increment on compensation in parliament for discussion.
“I just want us to unite together in these trying times and do our best to fight this tragedy and, hopefully, we will win the war against this disease,” he added.
The FMD workshop, which was held at Adonsonia Hotel in Francistown, was geared at discussing with leaders and farmers from different villages in the North East District how they could combat the FMD scourge that is currently spreading rapidly in the District.
The Member of Parliament for Tati East, Samson Guma Moyo also attended the meeting, along with other dignitaries from the Ministry of Agriculture and from various organizations.