Africa-Press – Lesotho. The Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports, Arts, Culture and Social Development, Mr. Pitso Lesaoana has congratulated vulnerable households from different villages of Kolo who are engaged in beans production through the support of the ministry and the Lesotho Standard Bank.

Mr. Lesaoana was speaking during the presentation of beans to 17 Vulnerable household members at the event held at Kolo Ha Mohlalefi on Wednesday. He applauded those who are continuing through the Community Development Project which is intended to fight hunger and poverty while at the same time generating income, saying they have set a record straight and should invite more households.

The Minister said the ministry and the Standard Lesotho Bank have initiated a good project to encourage members of the community to join the fight against hunger, saying agriculture is the backbone of this country, urging those who left the project to come back as it is high time for people to look for donations as such assistance normally promote laziness among members of the community.

He said listening to the majority of the speakers, he learnt that vulnerable households have the potential to produce for their families and commercial purposes, saying it is through projects of this nature that the majority of people receiving funds from the ministry could be reduced and such money be used for implementation of other country’s developments.

Speaking at the same occasion, a Member of Parliament for Phoqoane Constituency, Mrs. ‘Matankiso Tekane thanked the ministry and the bank management for their support which she said has come at the right time when needed most, saying it is really appreciated.

She said the bank management has done a great thing for the benefit of vulnerable households in the area and therefore called on local farmers in all categories to bank with the Lesotho Standard Bank so that it could continue with projects of this nature intended to improve the livelihoods of the needy.

She added that the Government of Lesotho has subsidised the purchase of fertilizers to allow every Mosotho to go to the fields and join the fight against hunger and poverty. Mrs.

Tekane said agriculture is one of the agendas that could improve the life of the nation, calling individual farmers to go to the fields in large numbers and ensure massive production of different crops. On the other hand, one of the beneficiaries of the Project, Mr.

Tankiso Putlane said the project started with fifty beneficiaries from vulnerable households and the number has decreased to 17, saying those who have left said they thought the government was going to do everything for them and will just receive without working.

He called on their counterparts still continuing with the project to continue working hard and be patient while at the same time calling for their support to spend some time with them since they still need their assistance to make the project a successful one.

The Standard Lesotho Bank Regional Manager, Mr. Lehlohonolo Matabooe said the journey started in 2019 with fifty vulnerable households after realizing that it is important to encourage members of the community to be engaged rather than being donated.

He said their first harvest which was in 2021 was poor due to climate change results, saying in 2022 they did go to the fields but encouraged members of the community to establish keyhole gardening to produce vegetables which he said the bank aims to teach the community to catch a fish.

He therefore thanked the ministry management for their cooperation in support of the needy. The Community Development Project whereby venerable household members are engaged in the production of beans started in 2019 to encourage members of the community to produce for themselves and avoid donations. The Area Chief, Chief Bereng Khosi provided land of 13 hectares to enhance implementation of this project.

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