Saturday, October 31, 2020

New ISPAAD guidelines expected end of financial year

The long-awaited review of the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD) is undergoing evaluation to be considered for review before the end of the financial year 2020/21.

Junior Minister of Agricultural Development, Food Security, Beauty Manake told Parliament last week that the process will review, consider a wide range of aspects meant to improve delivery and output of the programme.

She highlighted: “Key aspects to be considered will be inputs subsidies and how to implement them. Productivity and value for money shall form part of the programme that will come out of the review of ISPAAD. It is envisaged that a properly coordinated assessment will dictate specific components to be included in the programme such that it becomes efficient and effective.”

Manake was responding to a question by Kgalagadi North Legislator, Talita Monnakgotla who had asked the Minister of Agriculture to consider reviewing the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD) programme package to cater for cluster borehole, water surveying and drilling for livestock water, which is a major challenge to pastoral farmers in the Kgalagadi North Constituency.

In her response, Manake indicated to the Member of Parliament (MP) that  the current ISPAAD has: “The Provision of Potable Water to Clusters” component for domestic use only. Under this component, the ministry drills or equip boreholes or even purchase existing boreholes to be used by farmers within the cluster. These boreholes are managed by Cluster Management Committees.

“The drilling and equipping of boreholes for livestock watering is also undertaken through Special ISPAAD for both resource poor and for farmers owning up to 200 Cattle. This programme is predominantly done in Kgalagadi, Ghanzi, Kweneng West and Ngwaketse West areas. Another programme Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID), drills, equips and reticulates water for farmers. Incorporation of provision of water for livestock will be considered under integrated farming during the ISPAAD review,” revealed the junior minister.

From the submissions of other legislators in the house, it appeared there existed a conflict between the two programmes (ISPAAD/LIMID); a farmer who is under LIMID cannot again benefit from ISPAAD, which makes it a one way route.

Other revelations from the legislators of different constituencies were that tractor owners who plough for farmers under the ISPAAD programme have been paid P1,600 since 2013, which the legislators called on the ministry to review these wages as prices have gone up since then.  

Drilling of boreholes for farmers also came out to be a hot topic in the house, as they argued that the Ministry seems not to be assisting farmers enough to drill boreholes.

Since the inception of LIMID Phase 2 programme:  a total of 573 water development projects have been implemented. Out of 370, 67 boreholes were drilled, 116 boreholes were equipped, 40 farmers reticulated water, 22 boreholes purchased and 28 farmers for small herd owners in communal areas assisted with equipping and reticulation.

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