Mmegi Online :: Farming: Fertile hope, futile cause
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Wednesday 24 April 2019, 15:38 pm.
Banners
Farming: Fertile hope, futile cause

As stubborn as farmers’ hopes traditionally are, the last several years of El Nino-induced drought have tested the resolve of even the most strong-headed.
By Mmegi Editor Fri 12 Apr 2019, 11:57 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Farming: Fertile hope, futile cause








Known as the country’s “first borns,” farmers were the backbone of this economy long before shiny stones were discovered in the Motloutse River in the mid-1950s, sparking the diamond era.

Even in the diamond age, farming activities have underpinned the rural economy, through produce and income, supporting hundreds of thousands of families, fostering the development of alternative economic sectors and moulding graduates for these new sectors.

At commercial level, farming has enhanced the country’s food security and reduced imports, while at subsistence level, it is critical to the rural economy and the broader national budget, by reducing the weight on government welfare support programmes.

This year, as has happened almost continuously since 2014/15, farmers are heading for another disaster on the fields and in the kraals. El-Nino-driven droughts which previously used to occur roughly once in seven years, are far more frequent due to the strengthening effects of climate change on our part of the world.

Herein lies the dilemma that government finds itself in with the “first borns”. Government, through several initiatives, pumps upwards of P600 million into subsistence farming programmes each year, providing inputs to boost agricultural activities, which in turn support the rural economy, lift food security and impact overall national GDP.

Thanks however to the frequency of droughts, government has found itself pumping even more hundreds of millions after every harvest in drought relief interventions to support farmers and rural economies. Last year,

Banners

this figure amounted to P856 million, every thebe unbudgeted for and requiring the diversion of funds from other needs.

Taxpayers are not seeing any Return on Investment for the millions spent on the inputs programmes and instead, more funds are being expended every year to ameliorate the effects of successive failed seasons.

Government’s first port of call has to be to urgently review its inputs programmes and interventions to incorporate climate change. Everything from the types of crops to seed varieties to planting methods must be climate change sensitive. In fact, every thebe expended in the agriculture inputs programmes and interventions must be climate change sensitive, an outlook that recognises the new reality farmers find themselves in.

Some farmers, especially those long in the tooth, are notoriously inflexible in their ways and many have previously resisted advice on climate change-proofing their approach to both arable and pastoral agriculture.

It is up to government, which has the benefit of an abundance of technical experts and consultants, to take the hardline and only support farmers willing to toe the line of climate-change proofing their approach.

In as much as farmers are this country’s “first borns” and in as much as every Motswana was raised by a farmer, it is our responsibility to ensure this noble vocation transitions to and thrives in the new era of climate change.

 

Today’s thought 

“Adapt and overcome is my new motto” 

 - Jack Osbourne

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Banners
Banners
Banners


Editorial
Fri 12 Apr 2019, 11:57 am
Fri 05 Apr 2019, 11:28 am
Fri 29 Mar 2019, 11:23 am
Fri 22 Mar 2019, 11:48 am
Fri 15 Mar 2019, 11:33 am
Fri 08 Mar 2019, 11:48 am
Fri 01 Mar 2019, 10:51 am
Fri 22 Feb 2019, 11:08 am
Fri 15 Feb 2019, 10:53 am
Fri 08 Feb 2019, 11:20 am
Fri 01 Feb 2019, 11:30 am
Fri 25 Jan 2019, 11:01 am
Fri 18 Jan 2019, 11:40 am
Fri 11 Jan 2019, 11:28 am
Fri 21 Dec 2018, 13:19 pm
Fri 14 Dec 2018, 11:48 am
Fri 07 Dec 2018, 11:28 am
Fri 30 Nov 2018, 11:44 am
Fri 23 Nov 2018, 11:38 am
Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:58 am
Fri 09 Nov 2018, 11:07 am
Fri 02 Nov 2018, 11:04 am
Fri 26 Oct 2018, 11:45 am
Fri 19 Oct 2018, 11:59 am
Fri 12 Oct 2018, 11:47 am
Banners
Banners
Subscribe to our Newsletter
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Avengers: Endgame
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Tuesday 23 Apr - Thursday 02 May :::
    Avengers: Endgame
    The Queen's Corgi
    Little
  • Previous
    Little
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Tuesday 23 Apr - Thursday 02 May :::
    Little
    The Queen's Corgi
    Avengers: Endgame
  • Previous
    The Queen
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Tuesday 23 Apr - Thursday 02 May :::
    The Queen's Corgi
    Little
    Avengers: Endgame
Selefu
Alliance Of Progressives Manifesto Launch
Banners
Banners