I remember back in the day when there was a National Tree planting day, dedicated to Basotho to plant trees. This was an initiative aimed at combating land degradation and soil erosion. It was also intended to supply fuel wood and some extent produce furniture. Where has that day gone? At that time we saw some woodlots which in my opinion it made a difference because the land was covered and the rate of soil erosion was supposed to have been lessened.
A lot of scholars went abroad (U.S.A) to study forestry and came home with a huge knowledge in this discipline.
A quite interesting phenomenon to come back home was the knowledge of exotic trees and planting them on Lesotho grounds. One would have thought that improvement of our already existing endemic trees would have been great.
The irony of this is that there are woodlots throughout the country, they are white elephants and they bring nothing but soil erosion and little or no benefit to the people living within the areas they are found.
The president of Rwanda Paul Kagame, has made a rule that every household should have at least one fruit tree and a garden for vegetable production or face a jail term. In the same way the streets are cleaned every Saturday morning and he is part of the campaign. Every Rwandans should take part or face a jail term. No fine but jail.
A policy should be put in place that will enable every Mosotho to have a plot of vegetables and two fruit trees as a minimum requirement.
I think a plantation of exotic fruit trees would have been a great idea since they would provide food and fuel wood. The establishment of protected orchards in Mahobong is a typical idea where trees can bring food, money and wood. My wish is that every Mosotho should plant fruit trees on a National fruit tree planting day to encourage households to have fruit trees for subsistence. This could spark an idea of individuals and communities to have their own orchards.
Agricultural extension is the application of scientific research and knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education. It is further described as information input delivery to farmers. The role of extension services is instrumental in teaching farmers how to improve their yield. Extension is similarly precarious to implement research from the laboratory to the field and ensure return on investment by translating new knowledge into inventive practices. Panel of experts from the United Nation High level team of food security and nutrition maintain that national research and extension systems require full attention and investment from the government and the donor community. Technology transfer, advisory and facilitation are the three key components of agricultural extension.
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery, poverty is not natural. It is manmade and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”- Nelson Mandela