Writes; Tshepo Heqoa
This year Maseru District Agricultural Unity Association, MADAUA, is on a mission to improve its financial muscle through different fundraising activities. Moreover within the month of May and prior, MADAUA made media alerts about their upcoming fundraise activity project that mostly embraces the promotion of MADAUA’s agricultural investment which will be on the 31st May – 1st June 2019. The association has also extended their invitation to all relevant stakeholders for their upcoming fund-raising to be held at Lesotho High School.
MADAUA is normally referred to as a mother-association at district level in Maseru and is a member of Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU). MADAUA has a covenant with Rural Self-Help Development Association (RSDA) to assist farmers in socioeconomic, geographic as well as other anthropological challenges they often face. The commitment of this confederacy is to grow MADAUA by both organising and distributing information to daughter cooperatives, along with building its financial capacity and independence. The motive and vision of this association is to bring all cooperatives and associations under one umbrella body for the purposes of lobbing, coordinating and easy marketing of their produce said chairman of MADAUA Lephoto Taoana.
“As farmers we learned that most of the food consumed in Lesotho comes from abroad and the production in the country has a relatively limited market as a consequence this aggravate poverty as most production does not find its way to consumer markets in the country. Financial Institutions on the other hand are mostly reluctant to provide financial facility to farmers due to lack of security amongst other bottlenecks. As farmers we believe that this initiative to fundraise in an attempt to help farmers gain the capacity to implement their objectives is ideal. We want to upscale our agricultural investment, hence circulate money amongst our members,” Lephoto said.
Taoana further revealed that there will be a symposium in which multiple Ministries from the government of Lesotho, banks, insurance companies, Non-Government Organisations as well as farmer organisations in Maseru will deliberate on their roles towards agribusiness and the services they provide. Also while supporting His Majesty King Letsie III who has been designated as the special Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Taoana said their desire is to influence the farmers to forcefully engage in agriculture and nutrition.
According to Taoana LENAFU through MADAUA has also helped shape bespoke business models for farmers and producers in the country, through influencing the creation of well-established production systems. The development of these upgraded business models exclusively incorporates different agricultural commodities and how they could be run separately as well established systems of production in Lesotho.
A given example of such a well-established system of production was the seed production farming. Who would be the players and what inputs would be obligatory? These are the all-important questions if the Seed production Arena should thrive to the extent of providing both the local and the export markets. MADAUA members said every commodity is to have its own production system. These could be categorised as Poultry, Potatoes, Mushroom, Piggery, Dairy, Beans and Peas, Maize, Honey etc.
Taoana and his committee said that MADAUA has inclusively mapped and analysed the current business models that generate the current results, and works to upgrade the business models to generate expected results, suggest measures to be implemented by the Government, develop measures for the Government to implement and lastly stand ready for plenary sessions.
The MADAUA secretory Lebohang Matete said Africans are no different from all many other nations, the sole difference is education. Frederick Douglass, an African-American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman once wrote “to educate a man is to unfit him to be a slave.” Other members of the committee emphasized that Basotho are all created with wonderful talents and exceptional capabilities, but only the wise and the diligent can change the country.