Mohair farmers match SA standards: PM

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Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili & Minister of Agricuture 'Mapalesa Mothokho inpects some of the Marino sheep during the show at Agric college
Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili & Minister of Agricuture ‘Mapalesa Mothokho inpects some of the Marino sheep during the show at Agric college

Limpho Sello

PRIME Minister Pakalitha Mosisili has lauded wool and mohair farmers for matching their South African counterparts’ standards, saying they could surpass that level with more hard work.

Dr Mosisili made the remark yesterday in his address at the annual small stock farmers show held at the Lesotho Agricultural College (LAC).

He said livestock farmers deserved commendation for maintaining high standards in the care of their animals.

“I am very impressed to see the good job the farmers are doing with their livestock, because is it of very high quality,” the premier said.

“I was at a similar show in Bothaville, South Africa last week, and I didn’t see any difference between the sheep and goats there and the ones from Basotho kraals.”

Dr Mosisili said for Lesotho to retain its position as a top mohair and wool producer, the farmers should continue to improve.

“I urge you to continue working hard even though these animals are of high quality breed. You must continually improve,” he said.

Holisa Lesotho National Wool and Mohair Growers Association Chairman Mokoinihi Thinyane said the farmers worked hard to keep their livestock alive and healthy despite the ravages of the El Nino-induced drought earlier this year.

“It is for that reason that we wanted Dr Mosisili to see for himself that livestock farmers are working hard and did not allow the drought conditions to demoralise us,” Mr Thinyane said.

“We also want to thank the government for contributing towards starting a project that is going to improve the quality of wool and mohair through the establishment of butcheries, a wool shed and other infrastructure.”

Semonkong livestock farmer, Molomo Hoko, told the Lesotho Times he owned 200 sheep and made between M100 000 and M200 000 annually from selling wool and mohair.

Asked how he managed to keep his sheep alive and healthy during the drought’s peak period of December 2015 and January 2016, Mr Hoko said he had to buy food for his livestock and fetch water for them to drink from nearby dams

“Some of the animals died during that time and that was a great loss to the business. We also ended up spending more than we were earning, but we persevered because those animals are our gold and we depend on them to earn a living,” he said.

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