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Tlhokwane Farmers Optimistic Despite Poor Rains

PINI BOTHOKO
Tlhokwane farmers have not been deterred by low rainfall in their area PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
TLHOKWANE FARMS: Despite poor rains this ploughing season, Tlhokwane farmers on the outskirts on Moshupa village remain optimistic as they keep their eyes on the sky.

During a visit to a number of farms here farmers told The Monitor that low rainfall and high temperatures pose a serious challenge in their fields.

The farmers said they have moved to the fields and placed their hopes on God despite the unstable climatic conditions.

Local farmer, Jale Botsile Okatswa, who was busy ploughing with donkeys, expressed hope of an acceptable harvest despite poor rains currently being experienced. “As farmers even if we continue to experience hot temperatures we are still hopeful it might rain. Loapi le santse le solofetsa, I have ploughed five hectares of sorghum, maize, beans, groundnuts and melons using a tractor.

I remain hopeful for better yields as I plough the last two hectares using donkeys,” Okatswa said.

Okatswa also said last season it was bad and he got away with almost nothing. However, the farmers here are not discouraged as they continue to plough this season and are hopeful of better yields.

Okatswa however stated that the poor rains frustrate hopes for a robust start to the cropping season and has delayed ploughing. Okatswa said these are the months during which farmers who rely on rainfall in their area expected to have started ploughing or crops to have germinated, but majority of them are yet to plough keeping as they keep their eyes on the sky.  She said instead a handful of farmers in the

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area began ploughing last week as the late rainfalls have delayed cropping activities this season.

She disclosed that as farmers they have been encouraged to plant early maturing crops and those that are harder in drought conditions. “I am quite aware that if it does not rain, I will definitely not reap anything at all like last year, but this was a risk I have to take as a farmer.

The situation in the fields has been worsening every year but it’s in the blood, late rainfalls delayed us from ploughing but I am hopeful and keeping an eye on the sky. Who knows? God might hear my prayers, ” she said. Another farmer, Ratho Morupisi shared the same sentiments of late poor rains saying as farmers that did not stop them from planting. “I have started ploughing this week with two hectares of sorghum and beans.”

“Last year it was bad because I only managed to reap two bags of maize as most of the yields we eat before we could harvest.  I am a bit disappointed because usually this time of the year the crops would be at seedling stage but we are still ploughing,” Morupisi said.

Morupisi hopes the rain continues so that he ploughs more hectarage. Morupisi said majority of farmers are afraid of wasting their money ploughing more hectarage because of poor rains.



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