Farmers have been encouraged to take Agriculture and food production seriously or face being banned from national agriculture development programmes.
This was said by Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Patrick Ralotsia at Mookane Farmers Field Day held at Rankgaphane cattle last weekend under the theme ‘Conservational Farming and Fodder Production’.
Ralotsia said getting involved in farming is important as it will feed the nation and ultimately improving the economy of the country and is also the only way for the country to become food self-sufficient.
He cautioned farmers under the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD) that under-performing farmers will be struck off because they are failing the system that avails all resources (seeds, fertilisers, pesticides) for a great harvest.
He added that under-performing beneficiaries of the Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID) programme could also find themselves in the same bind as the Ministry looks into ways to remedy the situation.
The minister attributed the under performance of farmers to neglect and laziness and added that the same farmers then turn around and blame the fruitlessness of their ventures on government initiatives.
Speaking at the event, Vet and Agric Consultants Veterinarian Dr Mike Sento, reminded farmers to use their minds and not hearts as that will help them make financially wise decisions regarding their farming businesses.
“Lost or dead livestock is the only loss local farmers know but if your bull or cow does not make calves, that is regarded a great loss in farming business,” he advised, adding that sometimes farmers keep unproductive livestock because they have an emotional attachment to them.
“That cow/bull will not replace your wife and children, don’t love it. It is there to make money for you, that is all,” he reminded the farmers.