Frost leaves Mokhotlong farmers reeling



Pascalinah Kabi

Mokhotlong farmers are counting the costs of early frost which hit their district on Friday last week, destroying any hopes they had of salvaging  their summer crop.

Liphamola Horticulture Farmers Association coordinator, Thabo Moleko, yesterday told the Lesotho Times that the farmers had been devastated by the latest calamity to hit the district after one of the country’s worst droughts in four decades had left them with barely enough to feed their families.

Mr Moleko said the unexpected early frost damaged crops which the farmers had hoped to harvest beginning next month, leaving more households in desperate need of food.

“Unlike other districts, we only have one agricultural season due to the severe cold we experience during winter, which makes farming impossible. This frost, coupled with the severe drought the country experienced, has made life really unbearable for us,” Mr Moleko said.

“The frost hit the district on Friday last week and destroyed the little we were hoping to harvest.”

According to Mr Moleko, failure to harvest spells trouble for the district as food prices would skyrocket.

“For example, in December last year, I bought a cabbage in Butha-Buthe for M25, and with no harvested vegetables this season, it means prices are going to skyrocket and most families who depend on farming would struggle.”

He said 90 percent of Liphamola Horticulture Farmers Association members depend entirely on farming, hence failure to realise a meaningful harvest was a disaster.

“We have six centers, namely Malefiloane, Thabang, Phahameng, Mapholaneng, Lehlohla and Libibing, and a few of our members have livestock which they might sell to survive. However, the majority of the farmers are going to struggle to survive until the end of next summer’s cropping season.”

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