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Ngami farmers unite

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Village farmers’ committe to set livestock selling platform and prices

Farmers from nine villages in Ngamiland will next week converge in Sehithwa village to formalise a farmers’ committee to work towards protecting the rights of farmers who rear all kinds of livestock including cattle, donkeys, horses, goats, pigs, sheep and chicken among others.

Farmers say after suffering losses, which have been compounded by a rise in prices due to Covid-19 effects, they want to reap benefits of their small-scale farming instead of being reaped off by butcheries and millers as it has been the case for many years.

“We want to sell our animals without having to incur costs on behalf of the buyer. The current situation is that when a farmer sells cattle to a butcher, for example, they have to transport it and slaughter it on behalf of the butchery owner and all the butcher does is pay for the meat,” explained one of the farmers in Bodibeng area, Moses Hikuama.

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Hikuama said what the farmers want is to break this status quo, which has been inhibiting the growth of small farming in their area and introduce selling of live animals.

According to farmers, many farmers are increasingly getting upset by the thin margins they earn, which have driven many of them to poverty.

“Basically, all a farmer takes home after this long process is a mere P1,000 when a butcher makes far more than that,” noted Hikuama.

The farmers met in Bodibeng last month and are said to have called other stakeholders to next week’s meeting to further share ideas on their new idea.

The interim farmers’ committee secretary, Teyavi Ndjarakana, said current members of the said committe include farmers from Toteng, Sehithwa, Legothwana, Tsau, Semboyo, Makakung, Kareng, Bodibeng and Bothatogo.

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“The idea is to control selling prices because for a long time farmers have been reaped off and we are going to set prices and schedules, that is announce where and when the sales will be taking place. This will guide the buyers and sellers of where and when the trade will be taking place,” explained Ndjarakana.

This idea, according to Ndjarakana, was conceptualised by Village Development Committees (VDC) from these nine villages after receiving many complaints from farmers that buyers were gaining more profit from lifestock that farmers.

Ndjarakana also highlighted that selling of animals at designated places where police and veterinary officers will be present will cut costs for farmers and further cab stock theft, which is among the common and troublesome crimes in the area.

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