Government urged to monitor ISPAAD if it is to be a successful initiative

A young farmer in the Kgatleng District is happy with the government supported Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD).

Speaking to AgriVoice on Wednesday, 28-yearold Bokang Setshwane of Moganetsi ward, Mochudi said ISPAAD is a good initiative that only needs more supervision and monitoring from authorities.

It does not only help to improve local crop production but it gives the elderly, unemployed youth and other economical challenged people a chance to contribute and to help diversify the economy.

“A lot of people can make a living out of farming. Jobless young people and those with limited or no skills at all can also benefit from it”, the young man who loves the soil and its products said.

Setshwane who unlike most farmers had a reasonable harvest because he ploughed on virgin land that is fertile and was able to retain moisture than older fields went on to say that Ministry of Agriculture officials need to monitor the programme more if it is to succeed.

When he embarked on farming, the young farmer had one main objective to make money and improve his living conditions. He was determined not to let anything stand in his way.

His dream is to one day invest in his own farming implements like a tractor. The sky is limitless for Setshwane who intends to plough and eke a living from the soil.

He, however, was not amused with the behavior of some tractor owners. He felt there was a need to monitor them as some were a law unto themselves. “At the moment tractor owners do more or less what they like. They hop from field from field plough a hectare and then moving to the next field. They do this so because they want to secure as many fields as possible because once you have ploughed on a field it is your contract and nobody can take over.

Most tractor drivers are more concerned about getting the money from government than the end product. Something needs to be done about this because most farmers could have done better had it not been for the greedy tractor owners. Hopping from field to field without doing a proper job meant some fields were not ploughed on time and some dried up before they could be ploughed”, a concerned Sethswane said.

On another note the young famer said that farmers should have the right to decide when their fields should be ploughed and not be at the mercy of tractor owners who most of the time do not care about the farmers’ interests.

Quizzed on what he thought of some tractor owners calls for more money he responded:

“It’s an issue that needs to be discussed because they may have a valid point. Besides everybody knows that fuel prices have gone up,” he concluded.

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