Potato growers host farmers’ market

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Limpho Sello

THE Potato Lesotho Association (PLA) will host a two-day Maseru Farmers Market beginning today at Coop College.

Established in 2013, PLA consists of individuals and groups commercially cultivating potatoes in the districts of Maseru, Berea, Leribe, Butha-Buthe, Thaba-Tseka, Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek and Mokhotlong.

According to PLA member Mahasela Nkoko, the Maseru Farmers Market would be held from 9am to 6pm over the two days to showcase local produce and foster networking between farmers and customers.

He said local potatoes were not as popular as South African imports even though the former were 100 percent organic.

“The potatoes we harvest are 100 percent organic because we don’t put chemicals in the soil to make them grow faster,” Mr Nkoko said, adding the growth of the sector would create more jobs for Basotho.

“We are competing with the imports and working very hard to acquaint Basotho with our product. In addition to creating jobs, our objective is to foster the country’s economic growth.”

He said a number of activities were lined up to showcase the quality of locally-produced potatoes during the market event.  One of the activities would be asking attendees to taste cooked potatoes from Lesotho and South Africa and distinguish between the two.

“We also invited nutritionists from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security for tasting activity because we don’t want to declare that our product is the best by ourselves.”

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