Africa-Press – Lesotho. His Majesty King Letsie III has commended the Ha Motjoka Nutrition Club for outstanding performance in the production of fruits and vegetables as well as other farming activities meant to fight poverty and promote nutrition in the country.
Speaking during the nutrition clubs’ exhibitions and tour, His Majesty urged members of the Ha Motjoka Nutrition Club to work harder in order to feed their families as well as to care for the vulnerable children in their village.
He said being an African Union (AU) Nutrition Champion as well as the Special Ambassador for Nutrition for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), he visited Ha Motjoka Nutrition Club at the opportune time when he is scheduled to host Heads of state and government of the African Union as well as international organisations next week to discuss food security in Africa.
‘’I, therefore thank whoever initiated that I should visit the Ha Motjoka Nutrition Club ahead of hosting the Heads of state and government as well as international organisations to discuss issues relating to food and security in Africa’’ he commented.
His Majesty appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Security and Nutrition to initiate similar visits for him to see other nutrition clubs’ activities in the country which are aimed at promoting food security.
‘’Nutrition clubs play a vital role in the fight against poverty and hunger as well as promoting nutrition for households’’ he said.
His Majesty, therefore, urged women to ensure that households have plots to produce fruits and vegetables. Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, Food, Security and Nutrition, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Limpho Tau said the Government is determined to ensure food security prevails in the country.
He said when presenting the 2023/2024 budget speech, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning allocated M1.1 Billion for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition, which he said tripled the previous allocations.
Mr Tau pledged the government commitment to ensure the production of food as His Majesty has been tasked to ensure food security in the continent. He also commended the Motjoka Nutrition Club, saying if such clubs exist in all districts, food security and the fight against hunger and poverty history.
The Minister also assured the people of Masapong that one of the wines produced in the area will be served during the African Union Forum on Nutrition to be hosted by His Majesty on March 23-24, 2023.
Mr Tau said His Majesty has received three countries which are bidding to host the World Exhibition in 2025, saying Lesotho will have a stall there and that the government will sponsor Basotho to go and exhibit their products and handicrafts there.
Also speaking was the Principal Chief of Thaba Bosiu, Chief Khoabane Theko who urged the members of the Ha Motjoka Nutrition Club to be apostles of nutrition and food security in the areas of Machache and Thaba-Bosiu.
He said he would like to see his home village Qiloane have a similar nutrition club to fight poverty in the area. Chief Khoabane said each ward of the 24 Principal Chiefs must have a nutrition club as part of ensuring that food security and nutrition exist throughout the country.
The Deputy Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition, Mr Masia Johanne said the Machache area is an ideal place for the production of maize, sorghum, wheat and beans.
He, therefore, urged farmers to prepare for winter cropping saying wheat seeds as well as fertiliser are available in their warehouses. Speaking on behalf of Ha Motjoka Nutrition Club, Mrs ‘Makabelo Motjoka said the club was founded in 2021 with the objective of producing fruits and vegetables for subsistence purposes.
She said some members of the club left to seek greener pastures elsewhere and are now left with 12 members whom she said are all women. Mrs. Motjoka said they use organic manure in their gardens to produce fruits and vegetables like cabbages, spinach, carrots, and beetroot, saying they also produce chicken, fishponds to produce fish and rear goats for milk production.
Moreover, the club works on canning fruits and vegetables in order to have fresh meals during the winter season, saying they have approached the chief in the village to give them vulnerable children to feed every Sunday.
Furthermore, she said such children have been urged to have plots in their families where they could produce fruits and vegetables for themselves through the guidance of the Motjoka Nutrition club.
Besides producing fruits and vegetables, the Ha Motjoka Nutrition club also produces handicrafts like woven mats, hats, shoes, household utensils and dresses among others.
His Majesty King Letsie III will host the Heads of state and government of the African Union (AU) and international organisations at the High-Level African Union Forum on Nutrition to be heldat Manthabiseng Convention Centre on March 23-24, 2023. at Manthabiseng Convention Centre on March 23-24,
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