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Thobo Farmers College empowers the deaf

STAFF WRITER
Botswana Association of the Deaf (BOAD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Thobo Farmers College through which the latter will train, mentor and monitor BOAD agricultural projects.

The arrangement comprises short courses designed to help farmers produce for the market as they offer effective ways of promoting commercial farming.

The projects will also have increased market base and visibility. Thobo farmers will further offer soil and water testing analysis to the projects.

For convenience’s sake, the trainings will be done where the people with disability are stationed. Trainings will also be tailored as per the needs of each group. The team comprises qualified agronomists, crop scientists, animal scientists who are ready to take farming to the next level.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Thobo Farmers College agronomist, Kabelo Oitsile said through needs assessment they have realised that people living with disabilities have the potential to become entrepreneurs once they are accorded opportunities to be trained in life-changing skills.

“They have over time proved to be hard workers, efficient and showing resilience and determination. People with disabilities rarely have opportunities to attend technical schools since they live with no or little access to training centres. The situation leads

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to a perception that people with disabilities are unproductive and a burden to the family households that supports them,” he said.

The BOAD Executive Director, Shirley Keoagile appreciated Thobo Farmers College efforts to ensure that they can also tap into the business opportunities as deaf people across the country are going to benefit.

“This gesture needs to be applauded as they chose to assist us for free. This will go a long way in ensuring that the deafs’ rights are met because we still have hands and minds that can be used,” she said.

For his part, BOAD patron and Gaborone Central Member of Parliament, Tumisang Healy said agriculture plays an important role and contribute to food sustainability. According to Healy, it is more appealing that Thobo Farmers College will be training, mentoring and monitoring BOAD projects as it is important to teach people life skills. 

“This will ensure that BOAD also contribute to the food sustainability of the country whilst creating employment in the process,” he said.



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