MASERU — New Agriculture Minister Litšoane Lits’oane has pledged to engage farmers to improve Lesotho’s food security.
Litšoane was addressing civil servants in his ministry at Ha-Foso on Monday when he was introduced to them as their new minister.
Litšoane, a top farmer who received praises from former prime minister Pakalitha Mosisili for his sterling management of the block farming scheme, told the civil servants it was important to engage farmers to come up with strategies to fight hunger.
The block farming scheme was a credit guarantee bankrolled by the government of Lesotho.
The government had pledged to pay back the loans taken by farmers in case their harvests failed.
Many farmers including government ministers failed to pay back the loans and the state was forced to pay.
Litsoane was not among those who failed to make enough harvests to pay back loans for farmers who fell under his leadership.
He said his experience as a farmer had taught him that clear communication and information-sharing between farmers and the ministry’s employees is important to manage food production and security.
“I am a farmer and I know how it feels when farmers and servants in the Ministry of Agriculture do not engage each other. I have experienced it in the past,” Litsoane said.
“Work with these farmers, engage them and share information with them for the betterment of agriculture, the proper farming and food security,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mahala Molapo said the ministry’s workers should encourage farmers to adopt policies and help them manage their farms in a way that will benefit the entire country.
“We supported policies in the past government because we wanted this country to be self-sufficient and we are expecting you to lead farmers to support policies in this government for the same purpose of food production and security,” Molapo said.
The mission of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is to provide positive management of participatory expansion and execution of programs to farmers.