Lesotho Times

M11m warehouse commissioned

MOKHOTLONG — An M11 million storage warehouse was on Thursday commissioned in Mokhotlong to improve the delivery of food in the district.
The opening of the 500 000-tonne corrugated iron sheet structure was officiated by the minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Motloheloa Phooko.
Phooko said funding for the facility was provided by the government of Japan.
“We approached our Japanese friends who have been at our corner to help finance the building of the stores (sic). They gave us M11 million,” Phooko said.
“Two other stores are under construction in Berea and Ha-Makunyapane in Thaba-Tseka.”
The Mokhotlong store’s daily operations will be supervised by the Food Management Unit (FMU) which falls under the agriculture ministry and will be working in collaboration with World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Food unit.
WFP national director Amad Samil Osman said the warehouse will improve food delivery to 29 schools in the district.
He said local farmers can also bring their surplus harvest.
“We will also save on transport costs, which will in turn work in the favour of the sick in that they will no longer be compelled to wait for their food rations at clinics for hours on end,” Osman said.
He added that WFP would continue to provide transport to ferry food to FMU to boost nutrition for young children and sick people.
Construction firm Sigma Constructions, which built the warehouse, has also been contracted to build two other stores in Berea and Ha-Makunyapane in the Thaba-Tseka district.
The Mokhotlong warehouse also consists of new offices for security personnel whose job will be to guard the store and regulate the release of food supplies.
Agriculture minister Ralechate ’Mokose said his ministry was tasked with ensuring that there were enough facilities to store food “so that when we harvest we’re able to preserve the excess for hard times”.
“But such stores also have to be proper and of good quality. In this way we’ll be able to prepare ourselves for seven years of prosperity and seven years of hunger, as the Bible says,” ‘Mokose said.
The minister informed the Mapholaneng community that they should take to the fields because government had subsidised farmers with M18 million to help them to purchase seeds and manure at standard costs nationwide to ensure a successful harvest.
“I therefore urge you to make hay while the sun shines for the benefit of your families as well as producing surplus for storage,” ’Mokose said.

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