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Innovative agricultural practices minimize climate change impact

18 Sep 2023

Farmers have been urged to come up with sustainable farming methods that can cushion them against the impact of climate change.

Speaking during a farmers’ day event in Mmashoro recently, an agriculture expert, Mr Oaitse Goitsemang, said such practices could help farmers cope with drought, floods, pests, diseases, and extreme weather conditions.

He urged farmers to use programmes such as the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD), Impact Accelerator Subsidy (IAS) and Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID) which were aimed at broadening the resource base of the farming community to yield more results.

Mr Goitsemang was happy that most Batswana were now engaging in farming as a business, noting the move would go a long way in enhancing food self-sufficiency.

He challenged all to embrace the principle of mind-set change and re-set agenda by implementing it into farming ventures to increase productivity.

He also challenged farmers to diversify crop production to include trending drought tolerant and high-value crops such as sunflower to derive multiple benefits.

Furthermore, he said to achieve the objective, a highly collaborative approach was needed between individual farmers, extension officers, market outlets, processors and other stakeholders within the agriculture and related value chains.

Mr Goitsemang said the Mmashoro extension area had six horticultural farmers that produced 16.6 Metric Tons of vegetables planted in 5.96 ha during the 2022/23 season which translated into a productivity level of about 3 Metric Tons per hectare against a national target of 40 Metric Tons per hectare.

He shared that a three-year average production of 137.10 metric tons of grain from 333.92 hectares was realized, translating into a yield of 0.41 Metric Tons per hectare against a national target of one Metric Ton per hectare.

Mr Goitsemang explained that the figures suggested farmers were operating below the set national targets and encouraged them to explore the tried and tested farming technologies and practices that have proven to increase productivity levels, some of which were mentioned earlier on.

The area has a production capacity of 1 560 hectares but only 139.53 was used for the 2022/23 ploughing season.

The event was held under the theme: “Change of mind set in the farming community, a pathway to increased productivity” and it gave farmers the opportunity to reflect on issues related to improving household and national food security as well as increasing opportunities for employment creation. ENDs

Source : BOPA

Author : Phodiso Gaebepe

Location : MMASHORO

Event : Farmers Day

Date : 18 Sep 2023