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EMBARGO : Immediate release Date : Tuesday, 26 October 2021
MEC DESBO MOHONO HAILED PRAISES TO BATLHAKO TEMO, A CITRUS PRODUCER PROJECT
BRITS-MEC Desbo Mohono of Agriculture and Rural Development in the North West acknowledged and appreciated the hard work and dedication shown over the years by the founders of Batlhako Temo Project. She launched their project officially on Monday 25 October 2021 in an event that was held in Hartebeepoort, Sandsdrift near Brits.
The project which started operating in 2010 is now one of the major producers of citrus products in the province. It has five (5) members of which three are females and two are males. It produces various citrus products which it supplies to major citrus companies in South Africa and exporting others to international markets in Taiwan, Middle East and have now entered the China market since the year 2020.
The project has previously been funded by the national Department of Land Reform and Rural Development through Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy program (PLAS) in 2012 and the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development which assisted the business on two occasions with Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme funding (CASP) during 2015/2016 and 2017/2018 financial year to improve their irrigation system.
Speaking during the launch, MEC Mohono hailed the project founders with praises for their determination and hard work. “Batlhako Temo Project is a fantastic initiative that ties in well with our department’s vision statement which talks to a united and transformed agricultural sector for inclusive growth.
“This is what we want to see in our province,” Mohono emphasized.
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She also emphasized that Batlhako should be commended amongst those who changed the agricultural landscape in the province.
“Today as we officially hand over this project we have no doubt as a Department that indeed they will still soar high in the sky like eagles.
“As much as we officially giving the key to Batlhako, government will always remain a stone’s throw away in making sure that this becomes a success for future generations MEC Mohono emphasized.
During the 2021 fiscal year, the project received another grand from the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to purchase machinery, build workers house, purchase trees and productions inputs.
Through all these interventions, the project has grown in leaps and bounds. It is quite big on empowering the youth especially graduates, women and the elderly. Currently it employs thirteen (13) permanent, two (2) casual workers, fifty (50) seasonal workers and it has at least ten (10) graduates for experiential learning.
Speaking on behalf of the project Mr Issac Moilwa, one of the co-founders and manager of Batlhako Temo extended his gratitude towards the department on the initiative they’ve took in assisting them with the means to be able to contribute to the local and international economy, “We need to support our black farmers to create employment, the cooperative on its own during picking time employs about 50 pickers and an additional 30 pruners, so if we can expand the orchards then more jobs will be created” said Moilwa.
Issued by Communication Services Directorate Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako Tel: 018 389 5684/ Cell: 060 745 4020 Email: ESetlhako@nwpg.gov.za Website:www.nwpg.gov.za/dard Facebook:www.facebook.com/dard Twitter: @nwpg _dard