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Hydroponics project advances learners skills

11 Sep 2023

Thuto Boswa Rehabilitation Centre’s hydroponics garden is set to make the much needed impact on beneficiaries and open up opportunities for sustainable food production.

Speaking during the hydroponics project launch at Thuto Boswa Rehabilitation Centre in Ramotswa recently, Unik Charitable Foundation Trust board member, Mr Thabo Majola said ‘it is a progressive move for the centre to be offering agriculture as a means of training.

To expand and include scientific methods is an added advantage for young people with disabilities and we are happy to be part of the dream’.

He said during COVID-19 pandemic era, food security was seen as a necessity and to bring the dream to life, Unik Charitable Foundation Trust in collaboration with Green Gem Nursery constructed a P100 000 worth hydroponics garden at the centre.

He added that the P100 000 sponsorship by Unik Charitable Foundation Trust was an initiative to ensure that new innovative and sustainable methods of food production were introduced to learners in the horticulture programme.

“The hydroponics garden will be an incubation platform for graduates of Thuto Boswa Rehabilitation Centre who wish to go into horticulture as a business,” he said.

A representative from Green Gem Nursery, Ms Lapologang Mokgweetsi said the project was constructed in a month and they offered a three-day master class  and would offer six months mentorship to train and monitor learners.

She said the hydroponics garden was user friendly, required less labour and could last for 10 years or more if appropriately maintained.

In an interview, Thuto Boswa Rehabilitation Centre executive director, Ms Gosego Mmeanyana said the centre, which is a Non-Governmental Organisation was founded in the early 80’s with enrolment capacity of 60 learners.

Ms Mmeanyana said the centre offered vocational training and rehabilitation to learners with intellectual and learning disabilities.

She said the centre aspired to equip people living with disabilities with life skills and produce well-rounded graduates who can partake in growing the economy, community and sustain their own livelihoods through employment, business activities and other social activities.

“The hydroponics project, selected out of 100 projects, will not only introduce learners to new forms of food production but also reduce food costs and contribute to district’s food security,” she added.

For his part, Botswana Council for the Disabled executive director, Mr Moffat Louis said unemployment continued to be a challenge in Botswana, particularly for persons with disabilities.

“As a council we have seen it as imperative to come with alternatives to create employment for people with disabilities. It is commendable that Thuto Boswa came with a project like hydroponics garden that prepares and introduces people with disability to the production industry breaking circles of poverty within their family syndicates. They will be able to contribute to the economy and sustainability of their families without being dependent,” Mr Louis said.

He said apart from programmes in schools, they also had parallel programmes where they worked with the community to equip and train people with disabilities within the society.

“A developed country is that which mobilised and engaged all existing population groups including people who are differently-abled,” he said. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Itumeleng Naane

Location : Ramotswa

Event : Launch

Date : 11 Sep 2023