Madibeng maiden horticulture show successful

For immediate release
17 September 2018

Madibeng- Farmers in Brits, the country’s largest onion exporter together with others from and across the platinum rich district municipality of Bojanala held a successful maiden horticulture expo last Friday, 14 September 2018 under the theme, “Horticulture growth through exposure.”
Led by the North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) in partnership with the Madibeng Local Municipality, the expo attracted hundreds of horticulturalists who came to showcase variety of their produce which includes flowers, vegetables, fruits, ornamental trees, herbs and other related produce.
Horticulturists work directly with plants, overseeing all aspects of breeding, selection, planting, care, and production. This is a segment of the agriculture industry which includes the production and use of plants for food and beautification.
The expo was another effort by the government to create a much needed platform by farmers in the said district to market their produce but also an opportunity for the entire province to showcase what the horticulture sector in the region of Madibeng has to offer.
Mmabatho Moanakoena, owner of Mosaditshwene Project from Moses Kotane area is one of many exhibitors who participated during this expo. In this project, they specialise with indigenous herbs and trees. She said she was happy to be amongst the first people in Bojanala to participate in the district’s maiden horticulture expo.
“I am over the moon,” said Moanakoena last Friday. “We appreciate the effort by our provincial Department of READ with the local municipality of Madibeng. We have been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time and we are glad today that it has finally arrived,” elated Moanakoena said.
Asked if people who came to the expo have supported her by buying her produce on the day, she quipped “a lot”!
The same sentiments were shared by exhibitors from Moruleng outside Rustenburg town. Esther Lechina of Thuso Ya Batho Moringa Project was also happy for the platform given to them by government. “People have been coming and visiting our stall the whole day and they did buy our products,” Lechina said.
They offered healthy products on the day and also taught people about the importance of eating healthy and protecting indigenous trees like Moringa.
Addressing the horticulturists, exhibitors and people who came to support the expo, the Chief Director for Farmer Support and Development from READ Department Mr Thebe Mothusi who was speaking on behalf of MEC Manketsi Tlhape said the expo would be an annual event to give farmers much needed exposure for their produce.
Mothusi went on to challenge horticulturists and farmers to ensure that they bring new entrepreneurs into the horticulture sector to address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty, and inequality.
“The Bojanala District, particularly Madibeng Local Municipality is tipped as comparative advantaged on horticulture production. With the infrastructure, rainfall pattern and the location of Madibeng Local Municipality, there is a huge opportunity to produce vegetables, citrus and ornamentals of high quality and quantity required by quality conscious buyers. We therefore like to encourage farmers to use this to their advantage,” said Thebe Mothusi.
He pledged financial support to those schools who attended the expo. “To encourage learners to take up agriculture as a career of choice, we are going to make sure that we buy schools present here today agricultural equipment and tools for their learners,” pledged Mothusi.
He further encouraged those farmers who are yet to register with the departmental farmer data base to do so.
Lot Mashiane of Mothutlung High School welcomed the gesture by the department to assist their school with much needed tools especially for their agriculture subject.
Madibeng Horticulture Expo will be hosted annually to give local farmers, industry people and other stakeholders a platform to showcase their produce, network and share knowledge amongst them as well as to expand and diversify their farming activities.

IMG 9939 : Chief Director for Farmer Support and Development Mr thebe Mothusi addressing horticulturists, exhibitors and people who came to support the first Madibeng Horticulture Expo held in Brits last Friday.

IMG 9950: Dignitaries from North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development and Madibeng Local Municipality cutting the ribbon to mark the launch of Madibeng Horticulture Expo.
IMG 9724 : Mmabatho Moanakoena owner and founder of Mosaditshwene Project from Moses Kotane Local Municipality was happy to be part of Madibeng’s maiden horticulture Expo.


Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Tel: 018 389 5684
Cell: 060 745 4020

Department’s commitment to support farmers

For immediate release
20 August 2018
MEC for Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development in the North West Province Ms. Manketsi Tlhape has encouraged female farmers to take a lead in the sustainable development agenda and to take full advantage of programmes offered by government and its entities aimed at empowering them.

Tlhape has also reassured female farmers of her department’s commitment to continuing supporting their agricultural businesses.

She said these last Thursday, 16 August 2018, during the 19th annual DAFF Female Entrepreneur Awards (FEA) ceremony held in Rustenburg town.

FEA programme is a joint venture between the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, the provinces and key partners in the sector aimed at honouring female farmers, recognising their role in the sector and their entrepreneurial skills in the mainstream agriculture, forestry and fisheries.The major thrust of the programme is to underline the fact that women play a significant role in food security, job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation.

This year’s competition saw hundreds of female farmers entering and competing in various categories including that of best female worker, best subsistence producer, top entrepreneur smallholder, top entrepreneur commercial and top entrepreneur export markets category.

The award for Best Female Worker went to Kedibone Elisa Itumeleng who works as a product packager at Bloemheuwel Boerdery Trust in Christiana. The farm specialises with vegetables production. Daily duties for this dedicated farm worker include packing of products for market, harvesting, grading products and record keeping.

The award for Best Subsistence Producer was won by Sis Ratos Business Trading from Ngaka Modiri Molema District. Sis Ratos Business trading is a mix farming enterprise. The farm produces sunflower, groundnuts, and maize. They also have livestock and they produce vegetables.

Top Entrepreneur Small Holder Award went to Healthy Life for Achievers Enterprise from Bojanala Platinum District Municipality. The enterprise specializes with production and supply of oranges.

Top Entrepreneur Commercial Award went to Thandolwabo Services (PTY) LTD from Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality. The enterprise specialises with cattle farming.

MEC’s special award was awarded to LMC Farms from Bojanala Platinum District Municipality. The farm specializes with sunflower production.

The main winner of the night was Lefakong Farming. The enterprise scooped an award for Top Entrepreneur Processing as well as the Overall Winner category for the 2018 provincial DAFF Female Entrepreneur Awards.

Lefakong Farming specialises with Moringa. The cooperative is located in Moretele in Bojanala Platinum District Municipality.

The enterprise has a great passion for health and wellness and has invested in the quality assurance and true organic nature of Moringa which can be processed into tea, powder and many other forms of natural health foods.

The enterprise was established in 2015 as a family cooperative and they have been receiving extension and advisory services from the North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development and the national Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry.

The Founder and Director of Lefakong Farming Cooperative Ms. Maboang Matlou said she was happy to win both the awards.

“I am glad that I have won,” she said.

Elated Matlou further revealed that her cooperative uses 100% organic methods to produce moringa crop, harvest and agro-process the crop on-site at their farm in Bosplaas.

“We currently supply large companies for export purposes and health nutritional stores in and around the province. Our long term goal focuses mainly on ways to value-add our product for introduction into sectors of businesses,” she said

Next year, the DAFF Female Entrepreneur Awards will be celebrating twenty (20) years of existence.

MEC Tlhape said if women participate in economic activity, own and control productive assets; it leads to development by helping to overcome poverty, reducing inequality and improving children’s nutrition, health, and school attendance.

“If women and men have the equal access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets, the consequent 20-30 per cent increase in agricultural production on women’s farms could lead to 100-150 million less hungry people,” Tlhape said .

The objectives of the FEA programme are consistent with the vision of the National Development Plan, which makes particular reference to the empowerment of women and their involvement in the country’s economic transformation.

The programme has been identified by the national government as a tool that will encourage female and new entrants, young and old, those with disabilities, small and medium enterprises to enter the agricultural sector.

The process for nominations and entries for provincial 2018 DAFF Female Entrepreneur Awards kicked-off early in May this year and the closing date for entries was 15 July 2018.

MEC Tlhape encouraged emerging farmers and those struggling with finances are encouraged to visit the North West Agricultural Fund (NWAF) office which is mandated to provide funding to those aspiring farmers in respect of agricultural development with a particular emphasis on previously disadvantaged individuals who cannot access funding from the commercial banks.

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Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Tel: 018 389 5684
Cell: 060 745 4020

Marico Listed as UNESCO biosphere reserve

For immediate release
26 July 2018


Mahikeng-The official announcement of listing of Marico as a Biosphere through the United Nations Education and Scientific Organisation was made at the 30th International Coordinating Council (ICC) sessions of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme sitting at Indonesia yesterday. The delegation led by the Head Of Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ), Dr Poncho Mokaila accepted the International accolade on behalf of South Africa.

This announcement took place as part of the six days sitting of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisations’ MAB programme to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments. MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.

The North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) has been on an intensive process application to ensure the listing. Speaking during the acceptance session Dr Poncho Mokaila said the road to secure the honour was not easy. “The public engagement process, the development of the management plan and the compilation of the biosphere nomination dossier for the listing of the unique freshwater system was commissioned three years ago but we had to use the lessons learnt from Magaliesberg Biosphere nomination application to our advantage and to ensure that we get our facts right away,” Dr Mokaila highlighted.

MEC Manketsi Tlhape has equally expressed her delight at the honour and said the current administration has made strides in rebranding and repositioning the province. “This clearly reflects a society that has interpreted the vision of the administration so well and has lived up to the expectation of the communities,” she said. “The onus is now upon the Marico management body to ensure that the Biosphere will reach its goal of maximising conservation of the natural environment, sustainable development, advancement of research programmes and social upliftment,” she emphasised.

The Marico River is considered to be the only inland free-flowing river in South Africa which is still in a natural condition. The Marico region has also been identified as an important water recharge area, supplying clean water to surrounding communities and neighbouring countries, namely Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The Marico biosphere therefore is a good example to showcase sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

The biosphere reserve has a remarkable aquifer which is visible through the clear, unpolluted mountain streams emanating from the area. A large majority of dolomitic ‘eyes’ are located within the biosphere area. These culminate in the formation of the Groot Marico River, which at its source can be described as the southern-most distributary of the Limpopo River, located on an international border. Marico is an area of scenic beauty, unique natural features, rich natural and cultural heritage value and significant biodiversity of interest. This justified the need for its protection and sustainable utilization, which led to the listing with the Man and Biosphere Programme.

MEC Tlhape has applauded all stakeholders who supported the listing process including landowners and communities and expressed her gratitude to their dedication. She further indicated that initiatives within the Biosphere Reserve will be driven by the local community and through a public participatory approach, using an integrated management plan.

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Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Tel: 018 389 5684
Cell: 060 745 4020

Farmers Hail Department’s crop Massification

For immediate release
23 JULY 2018

Famers from all four districts of the province who came in numbers to mark harvest season last Friday, 20 July 2018 in Waterford Farm near Mareetsane Village have commended the department’s crop massification programme which is aimed at assisting struggling farmers with inputs to plough arable land back into production.

The programme supports famers in various ways such as technical advice, crop production resources, marketing and provision of mechanisation.

Agriculture in the province is the most important economic activity and the provincial government has over the years given it a priority to improve food security, grow the economy and create jobs.

Although harvesting is still on-going in some parts of the province, many farmers who benefitted through the crop massification programme are reporting satisfactory yields and have praised the Department of Rural Environment and Agricultural Development for its initiatives to help disadvantaged communities to create sustainable business within the agricultural industry.
One of those farmers who has benefited from the programme is Obakeng Ezekiel Melke from Mofufutso 02 near Khunwana Village which falls under Ratlou Local Municipality.
Melke thanked the department for helping him to grow his crop farming business.
“I want to sincerely thank our government for extending helping hand to us poor communities. Today my business is growing and is all thanks to government in particular the department of agriculture in the North West Province,” Melke said.
Same sentiments were shared by Rathoto Bethuel Legoete who is also a crop farmer from Ngaka Modiri Molema in Mooifontein area. In his farm, Rathotho plant maize and sunflower. He has also benefitted from the Crop Massification Programme by the Department.
He is one of the farmers who received assistance from government after assessment in 2013. He was among group of farmers who received tractors, fertilisers and other farming equipment from government to grow their businesses.

“I want to thank everyone who is involved in this programme by government to assist us as emerging farmers in Ngaka Modiri Molema. It is through this programme by government that we were identified and assisted. We received tractors, litres of diesel, fertilisers all sponsored by government and for that I want say thank you.

Delivering a word of thanks on behalf of the farmers, Professor Wilfred Legotlo said they are happy to be witnesses to government fulfilling its promises. He said the crop massification programme by the department is a good initiative and creates a platform for them as famers to be somehow competitive.
Although there are some challenges, Professor Legotlo said they appreciate department’s response in helping farmers.
“MEC Tlhape your department has responded promptly to our challenges as farmers and we are very happy that we did not despair and that you found us active today,” said Professor Legotlo.
Speaking at the Waterford farm, MEC Manketsi Tlhape said harvest season celebration event is a thanksgiving as many farmers who benefitted through the crop massification programme received good yields.
Tlhape also said her department is solemn about fighting the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

“The crop massification programme is meant to increase crop production in the province and ultimately deal with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

MEC emphasised that farmers should use land available to them fully for production.
“Emerging farmers are crucial role players in local economic development and poverty eradication. We want to see them employing and training young people in farming as a liberating and viable option of economic development,” said MEC Manketsi Tlhape.
Crop Massification Programme in the province is targeting emerging farmers who are plying their trade under difficult circumstances due to a lack of resources.
Currently, smallholder and commercial farmers in Bokone Bophirima Province who received assistance in the form of crop production inputs in 2017/18 financial year are busy harvesting maize, sunflower, groundnuts and beans in a total of 16 132 hectares.
For 2018/19 year, the Department aims to plant over 14 000ha, a support that is envisaged to benefit 474 farmers across the Province. A total Budget of R50,5m has been set aside for this assistance.


Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Tel: 018 389 5684
Cell: 060 745 4020

Outstanding Young Farmers Announced

For immediate release
02 JULY 2018

North West Province’s Outstanding Young Farmers announced

Mahikeng-North West Province through Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development Department has acknowledged the contribution and hard work the young farmers have been putting in order to place the agricultural sector of the province at the apex of local economy.
These outstanding young farmers were honoured and announced in a spectacle ceremony, held by the department last Thursday, 28 June 2018 in Zeerust Town, after a vigorous vetting process by a team of knowledgeable and well experienced independent adjudicators.
Youth in Agriculture Awards (YAA) is an annual event by the department to recognise aspiring young farmers in the province and the excellent work that they do.
The initiative is in line with government’s rural development plan which sought to promote agriculture and advocate for youth enterprise development to enable young people to have access to employment and self-employment in commercial agriculture.
Entrants were competing in the following categories; Best Youth Enterprise Award, Best Youth Entrepreneur Award, Best Innovative Enterprise Award, Best Researched Journal Award, Best Youth based Cooperative Award, best Youth Commercial Farmer Award, Best Agro-Processing Enterprise Award and the Overall Achiever category.

Chickens for Africa from Bojanala District scooped an award for Best Run Youth Enterprise and walked away with total prize money of R70, 000. The award for best emerging youth enterprise went to Lekuru Farming of Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District and they walked away with a whooping R70, 000 prize money. The Best Youth Cooperative and enterprise award went to Optimum Harvest Cooperative from Bojanala District while the Best Researched Journal award was won by Bontle Mokone (26), a Masters student in Animal Science from North West University, Mahikeng Campus.
The main winner of the day was Thabang Mokwele (31) of Thaba-Kwena Projects PTY (LTD) .
Thabang, who won this year’s award for Best Youth Commercial Enterprise and overall winner for the 2018 Young Farmer of the year, is the farm manager of Thaba-Kwena Projects PTY (LTD)
Based in Lichtenburg town, his farm specialises with broiler production. The farm was started back in 2014 but was only registered in 2016.

To date the farm has ten (10) broiler houses with capacity of 15000 birds each producing at least 150 000 birds per cycle.

Through this establishment and the support he has been getting from government, Thabang Mokwele has managed to employ twenty eight (28) employees in his farm. Out of the twenty eight (28) he has employed, eight (08) are permanent employees while the other twenty (20) are casual workers.

The farm has in the past received a financial support of nearly R1 million from the North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development. With it the department has supported the project with payment of electricity and purchasing of feed. Over and above the farmer has been receiving monitoring and extension services from the provincial department of READ.

After announcements of the winners, Thabang said he has been entering the competition for the past three years and he is glad that he finally won in his third year. “I want to sincerely thank the Department of READ and all the people who supported me to start my business. I am where I am today because of them, and for that I want to say thank you,” said Mokwele
For those who are wishing to have their own farming businesses, the 2018 provincial farmer of the year Thabang had these words of encouragement for them “nothing is impossible”.
The Youth in Agriculture Awards is part of department’s bigger programme of highlighting the significance of agriculture and the role of young people plays in the sector
Speaking at the awards ceremony, MEC Manketsi Tlhape said the Youth in Agriculture initiative serves as a motivational gesture to the youth to accept and appreciate farming/food production as a commercial venture, thereby taking up farming as a life-time vocation.
”The youth in agriculture initiative also serve as a succession strategy which will ensure young people become farmers and succeed their old counterparts and farmer parents who are dominant in the agricultural industry,” Tlhape said.
Tlhape went further to explain that the awards ceremony seeks to acknowledge, encourage and increase participation of young people in the agricultural sector, highlight the significant role played by young people in food security and the fight against the triple challenges of job creation, economic growth and poverty and to empower young people and support their involvement in the province’s economic transformation.
The runner-ups will be placed under departmental after-care programme for mentorship.


Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Tel: 018 389 5684
Cell: 060 745 4020

Tswaing learners commend Department’s awareness on environment

For immediate release
12 JUNE 2018

Mahikeng-Learners from various schools within the Tswaing Local Municipality commended North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development’s initiative of taking workshops on preservation of environment to their schools.

This workshops and community engagements which are currently taking place in Tswaing Municipality are part of on-going educational programme of the department aimed at sensitizing communities about the importance of maintaining the cleanliness of environment and surroundings and creating awareness on the challenges of illegal dumping areas within various communities.

One of those areas targeted by this programme for this year is Agisanang location in Sannieshof. The area has challenges of waste management and needs urgent attention.

Officials from the department working with their counterparts from national ministry of environment have been working tirelessly in this area since beginning of June month this year educating and engaging communities in order to avoid environmental degradation.

South Africa has adopted the entire month of June to heighten awareness of environmental issues through various pertinent activities.

The theme for this year’s campaign “Beating Plastic Pollution, If you can’t re-use it recycle it ” urges governments, industries, communities and individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives and urgently reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastic products.

Eradicating plastics pollution begins with small, individual consumer actions such as avoiding single-use plastic products; and with recycling existing plastic products wherever possible.

Selected schools which were visited by departmental officials for workshops included Lebogang Primary, Tumisang Primary, Naledi Primary all in Ottosdal, J.S. Masisi Primary, Lillian Lehetla Secondary Primary, Phatsima Secondary, Manamolela Primary all in Atamelang, Goerge Madoda Primary in Delaryville, Refethuto Primary, and Agisanang Primary in Sannieshof.

Lerato Leroux (14yrs) a grade 7 pupil at Reatlegile Primary School in Matshelapad (Delaryville town) had the following to say after the workshop at her school: “I will share with my friends and parents what I have learned from the workshop especially about the importance of re-using plastics and recycling thereof.

“I wish that the people of Delareyville could stop littering and start protecting the environment,” concluded the 14 year old Leroux.

Another Grade 3 pupil Koketso Kgothatso of Manamolela Primary School said “The information we got is very informative and it made me aware that people in general take the environment issues for granted,” said Kgothatso.

The department will continue with this programme to other schools even after this month of June.

Apart from school workshops, the department has planned community engagements in Agisanang Township for the 15th of June, cleaning of dumping sites and selling of recyclable material on the 19th, mass cleaning campaign on the 20th and the main event will be held on the 22nd of June 2018 at Agisanang Township Stadium where MEC is expected to join the masses in promoting awareness on the importance of preserving biodiversity and encouraging change in attitude in order to save the world.

For the past decade, World Environment Day and campaigns platform have been used to raise awareness, support action and driving change.

Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Tel: 018 389 5684
Cell: 060 745 4020