Southern Mountains Associated for Rural Transformation and Development (SMARTD) held the seventh Sesotho recyclable seeds in ceremony that was aimed at offering free education about these seeds at SMARTD premises in Qachaâ€™s Nek on Thursday last week.
Stating the purpose of the event, Ntsoebe Ntsoebe said SMARTD serves its purpose of destroying the pillars of famine in Lesotho. He mentioned that these seeds are able to withstand the climate in Lesotho.
â€œWe encourage farmers to use these seeds because of their special behavior and huge capacity of harvest,â€ he said.
According to Ntsoebe, farmers who are members of SMARTD produce the seeds in order to maintain their presence for decades to come.
â€œWe are more focused on women to be those producing such seeds, women nurture the growth of children and will fill the world with kids hence we want them to be involved in this production of seeds and enhance their production,â€ he mentioned.
He mentioned that SMARTD also helps farmers to equip each other with skills on how to multiply the seeds and to achieve great harvest in the fields.
For her part, Director of SMARTD Matlotliso Phooko, said the dream of the organisation is to see all the local famers using local seeds.
â€œThese seeds are resistant to the recent climate change other than the hybrids seeds, our Sesotho seeds are also recyclable since and can be reused as many as possible,â€ she said.
â€œWe also have created the seed bank where we keep the seeds and the seed gens so that we do not run short of them in the future,â€ she added.
She further mentioned that if the farmers have their seeds from the fields cross pollinated they can get back to SMARTD for the undiluted seeds. Mentioning that this however seems to be a challenge where the seeds are likely to be mixed with the hybrid seeds from the nearby fields.
In conclusion, she stressed that the organisation will to work with the National University of Lesotho (NUL) IN Labs to study the seeds including the hybrids.
Pointing out the importance of the organisation to Lesotho the former director of SMARTD Palo Mochafo said the government of Lesotho should consider helping the organisation build its dream of producing seeds of its own.
â€œNone of the countries can give seeds to Lesotho and now during Covid every country looks to feed its people not all other countries, therefore if Lesotho is not able to produce for its self then we will remain the slaves to the neighboring country and the countries that produce,â€ he said.
Encouraging famers on how to consider how important they are, the chairperson of SMARTD Mpiti Letsie mentioned that farmers should realise that they are born to serve the nation with food production. He said producing seeds means producing food and eradicating hunger in Lesotho therefore farmers should be consistent in this assignment.
Meanwhile, Nutrition Expect Masepheoe Ramothello mentioned that the seeds produce food with high nutritional value free off unwanted chemicals, and good for the health of people. She mentioned that they take a bit longer in the soil than those of hybrids which take two to three weeks in the soil because of the chemicals.
â€œThese produce foods without side effects since they are chemical free, we believe that our bodies are made up of what we eat and if your body is made of chemicals then you likely to have cancer in your life,â€ she said.