Africa-Press – Lesotho. The Minister of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Security, Mr. Thabo Mofosi says farmers should be involved from the planning stage so that issues that concern them can be addressed accordingly. The Minister said this when speaking at a one-day farmers’ dialogue on Grass-Fed Red Meat and Dairy and Eat-in held in the district on Thursday.
He said Agriculture is one of the sectors that will be given priority as it will be allocated most of the government budget for the coming financial year in order to ensure the country feeds itself as it used to in the past years.
Mr. Mofosi said the Ministry is ready to help farmers to improve their agricultural production so that they can be able to feed their families and the nation.
He urged the Extension Officers to continue rendering services to farmers to achieve quality and high agricultural production in the country. The Minister revealed that the construction of abattoirs has been included in the budget to address the farmers’ long-overdue problem.
Livestock farmers have for so many years been crying out for a safe place where they can slaughter their livestock at. He commended the Rural Self-help Development Association (RSDA) and other organisations such as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for embarking on a campaign to encourage communities to eat organic foodstuffs produced locally to maintain good health.
He stated that it is only when farmers produce organic food that the nation can eat healthily and be able to export to other countries. Speaking at the same event, the Acting Principal Chief of Mokhotlong Chief Lerotholi Mathealira Seeiso urged the Mokhotlong community to engage in farming in order to feed themselves.
He expressed concern over some members of the public who have gardens and fields but have not planted them and then complain about hunger. Chief Seeiso said an abattoir is needed in the district as most of the people are livestock farmers who should also be making money from selling red meat and fibre from the small stock.
Mokhotlong Farmers Forum requested the Ministry of Agriculture to support them with the construction of an abattoir to slaughter their livestock safely for a profitable market.
The campaign that was conducted in the district was aimed at promoting red meat and milk as Mokhotlong products. The event brought together farmers from various districts to witness some of the products being produced in Mokhotlong.
The dialogue culminated in an exhibition of various products ranging from red meat, fresh and cultured milk (mafi), organically produced vegetables and cake-made sorghum. The Minister and Members of Parliament for Mokhotlong toured the exhibitions.
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