MADIBENG – The MEC for the North-West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Desbo Mohono has handed over a high-tech combine harvester to 40 grain farmers in Madibeng local municipality. The event took place yesterday, 13 February 2024 at Geluk Village in Madibeng, Bojanala Platinum District. The farmers who are mainly into barley, wheat and Soya production will utilise the harvester collectively through their cooperative Madibeng Grain Farmers. The beneficiaries are mainly from areas including Kareeport, Sonop, Geluk, Sandrift, Mamogalieskraal, Snymansdrift and Wolwekraal.

Amongst the key modern features of the harvester is that it delivers superior harvest quality. Its technology ensures the cleanest grain sample. It also possesses more space comfortable and precise for harvesting. The IV colour touchscreen monitor can be positioned on the ideal viewing for an operator. The new LED lighting package enables 24-hour productivity. It is also equipped with a 7,5-meters removable header that is designed for particular crops. The header has revolving reel with metal teeth to cause the cut crop to fall into the auger once it is cut. The modernity of this machine will ensure gentler treatment of fragile seeds that were often crushed and destroyed during harvesting.

Amongst many positive take offs of owning the harvester, the Madibeng Grain Farmers aim to improve their agricultural practices, enhance productivity, and establish sustainable market channels. With support from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the acquired combine harvester will assist to streamline harvesting process and reduce production costs. The harvester will now take over the process of reaping, threshing, gathering and winnowing to a single process.

Speaking to the farmers, MEC Mohono has expressed her gratitude for their commitment towards the process of acquiring the harvester. Amongst others, MEC was impressed by the level at which farmers were prepared to share resources thereby positively contributing towards the local economic change. “I urge you to continue with the same spirit as you begin to collectively utilise this harvester in your over 700 hectares of land. I am happy that complaints of high costs of harvesting will be greatly reduced. Let everyone of the team members be developed in line with the modern technique of this machine,” MEC Mohono said.

She also emphasised that the harvester was in position to change the lives of the farmers for better. “This machine is placing you at commercial level, and you must know that you are now greatly carrying responsibility of assisting the improvement of food security levels of our province. This is a game changer in your farming businesses,” Mohono added.

On behalf of the group, Mr Obakeng Lebethe who is also a grain farmer welcomed the support from the Department. Not only was he in high spirit during the handover ceremony, he also took the audience into confidence as he presented how the harvester works. He said his acquired skills would assist the team to be less reliant on external help. Lebethe said the acquisition of the combine harvester brings to an end their 4-year journey of collectively requesting government to intervene in grain harvesting. That followed the high costs associated with harvesting, which mainly leaves them with close to no turn-over. He has committed his team to a high level of work etiquette and to ensure that the harvester positively impacts on the lives of all beneficiaries.

The Department will closely monitor the project’s progress, assess performance metrics, to manage harvesting and identify areas for improvement.

256A3160: Madibeng Grain Farmers moves the SMART Agriculture way with a new Combine Harvester
256A3302: MEC Mohono with Madibeng Grain Farmers and officials of the Department during the handover ceremony of the Combine Harvester.

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Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Tel: 018 389 5684
Twitter: @nwpg_dard

North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development recognizes the diligent efforts of abattoirs

Parys – As part of the recognition of abattoirs that contribute to food security and safety of the province, the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development held the Abattoir Hygiene Rating Scheme Awards in Woodlands, Parys to honour forty-six (46) of them.

The aim of these awards was to enhance food security, public health, and animal welfare by improving the hygienic quality of meat while prolonging the shelf-life of meat and meat products, decreasing food spoilage and wastage, and further lowering the risk of food poisoning from meat products.

This year’s abattoir awards were based on the 2022 abattoir audits and inspections that were carried out by the department’s Veterinary Public Health Practitioners and state veterinarians through regular inspections, abattoirs are monitored within the Meat Safety and standards, requirements, and regulations to ensure safe meat is produced for human consumption.

The Head of the Department, Mr Mokhatla noted that the audits were conducted using a Hygiene Assessment System (HAS) form/document which was developed at the national level and is used by all provinces. ”These awards come after a three-year absence in our midst since 2019, as a Department we further assure and reassure all our stakeholders that we will do our best to produce healthy meat including all related products within the abattoir industry” emphasized Mokhatla.

A total of 46 abattoirs were registered and audited in 2022, eighteen (18) were high throughput, twenty-two (22) were low throughput and six (6) were rural abattoirs.

The Meat Safety Act provides measures to promote meat safety and the safety of animal products; to establish and maintain essential national standards in respect of abattoirs; to regulate the importation and exportation of meat; to establish meat safety schemes; and to provide for matters concerned therewith.

The overall winner of high throughput red meat, Ms Sanelisiwe Maseng of SoloProp, trading at Vryburg Abattoir, thanked the department for these prestigious awards, the Veterinary Public Health Officers (VPHOs) for inspiring them to continue with compliance to ensure food security and food safety.

Three audits were conducted per abattoir during the course of 2022 and the overall performance was based on the results of all three audits conducted during the year, of the total 46 abattoirs twenty (20) were poultry and twenty-six (26) red meat.

256A1056.JPG – Head of Department, Thupi Mokhatla together with Dr Langa Madyibi handing over certificate of high throughput red meat to overall achiever, Ms Sanelisiwe Maseng of SoloProp.
256A1001.JPG – Fouries Poultry Plant 2, overall achiever of high throughput poultry were handed over certificate by Head of Department, Thupi Mokhatla and Dr Langa Madyibi.

Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Twitter: @nwpg _dard

North West Agric handed over another 45 Goats to a farmer in Christiana

Christiana – In efforts to boost Goat Production in the province, the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development through their Goat Massification Programme, handed over fortyfive (45) goats to Mr Solomon Lethoko of Prospect Farm in Christiana, Lekwa Teemane Local Municipality as part of the weekly Provincial Accelerated Service Delivery Program, Thuntsha Lerole.

The Massification programme focuses on the commercialization of goats to steer and constitute a significant contribution of rural livestock with the potential to alleviate poverty through the sale of meat, skins, crafts and milk products. Goats are generally an easy-care animal because of their small size, adaptive feeding behaviour and low management, it is much easier for small farmers with no land or a small portion of land to farm with goats than with cattle, as 10 goats could be kept on the same portion of land as one cattle.

The Head of Department, Mr Thupi Mokhatla elaborated that the farmers must see their goats as a
source of income to commercialize the goat industry. The main advantage of goats is their resistance to diseases and their adaptability to harsh grazing conditions. “Goats are a practical choice in promoting the household cash flow of people in rural areas and can help resolve food insecurity for many households,” said Mokhatla.

The support to the farmer included 43 Does and 2 Bucks, a small-stock handling facility (still under construction), water provision, breeding stock, feeds and medication.

Mr Solomon Lethoko who is pleased with his goat donation and the construction of the handling facilities expressed his gratitude for the empowerment he has received. “The facilities will help reduce stress on the goats and aid in vaccinating, deworming, weighing and the sorting process, which will give me an advantage when selling at auctions,” said beaming Solomon.

Lethoko indicated that he has some experience with livestock production. He goes to auctions to buy goats and sheep to fatten and sell them back at different auctions. He indicated that he was also taking advantage of the informal trading. ‘The majority of goats marketed in the province are sold by private transactions in the informal market to be slaughtered for religious or traditional purposes, therefore the informal market drives the goat industry,” he quipped.

256A0019.JPG – Head of Department, Mr Thupi Mokhatla together with MMC of Infrastructure and Economic Development in Dr RSM, Mr Solly Maropeng handed over 45 goats to Mr Samuel Lethoko in Christiana for Goat Massification Programme.

256A0041.JPG – Construction of handling facilities the department is building for Mr Solomon Lethoko’s Prospect Farm in Christiana, Lekwa Teemane Local Municipality.

Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Twitter: @nwpg _dard


MAHIKENG – The North-West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will
commemorate Provincial World Food Day on Wednesday, 08 of November 2023 in Dikebu Village,
Bojanala Platinum District. MEC Desbo Mohono will lead this celebration in an effort to enhance
the participation of rural people, particularly women, children and the underprivileged in decisions
and measures affecting their living conditions and food security.
World Food Day aims to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen
solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. This year the Department
celebrates under the theme: ‘Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind’. This aims to
highlight the critical role of water for life on earth and water as the foundation of food; it also
seeks to raise global awareness about the importance of managing water wisely as rapid population
growth, economic development, urbanization, and climate change threaten water availability.
MEC will further address concerns about food and nutrition security and their effects on health,
education, and social well-being.
Members of the media are invited to attend the event scheduled to take place as
 Date: Wednesday, 08 November 2023
 Venue: Dikebu Village, Moretele Local Municipality
 Time: 10:00
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Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Tel: 018 389 5719


Potchefstroom – The stakeholder engagement workshop headed by the North-West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development hosted representatives from the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), University of Pretoria (UP) and PepsiCo Inc at the Potchefstroom Agricultural College on the 10th of November 2023. Key to the conversation of these stakeholders was the agricultural value chain as well as funding opportunities within the sector.

The robust discussions on the “Rapid change in South African beef chains: A case study of the North-West Province,” a research study currently being conducted by Dr Dani Jordaan from the University of Pretoria included departmental economists and managers. According to Dr Jordaan the evolution of the beef value chain over decades being driven by the continuous increase of consumption as income rise. “This is attributed to the lower calorie-dense starchy staples and relatively more nutrient-dense meats, oils, fruit and vegetables diet. Thus the high demand of beef causing the triple increase in retailing through supermarkets and food services footprint,” explained Jordaan.

The UP representative highlighted various opportunities within this farming sub-sector, however large capital is required to ensure the sustainability and profitability of these businesses, especially black farmers who often find themselves with limited funding or lack of access to markets. NAMC also presented on the Cassava value chain and the economic overview of strategic crops opportunities.

In order to address the access to markets and funding challenges, Mr Diale from PepsiCo spoke on the Kgodiso Development Fund’s Agricultural Development which aims to transform the South African agricultural landscape by developing a new generation of sustainable farming enterprises and prioritises impacts across the full value chain through increased access to education, finance and mentorship for women, youth, and black South Africans. The Fund empowers black farmers through funding, business development, increased access to market and is committed to building the professional capacity of emerging black farmers while increasing the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices to build farmer resilience.

PepsiCo’s contract farming opportunity is one of the opportunities that align with department’s strategic objectives in terms of facilitating market access for small-holder farmers.

This engagement is another step in the right direction as MEC Desbo Mohono has committed the Department to ensure a collaborative effort in its service offerings. “We are facing significant challenges of high unemployment, weak economic growth prospects, rising poverty and inequality. Agriculture is one resilient sector and empowerment is key for farmers and prospective ones. We therefore need to attract investment in the sector so that our farmers can be not only be looking into government for support but from partners as well, “ MEC concluded.

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

MEC Mohono officially hands over R12 million worth Agri Projects in JB Marks Local Municipality

Potchefstroom – Together standing within the objectives of cooperative governance and intergovernmental relations of the District Development Model (DDM), MEC Desbo Mohono and the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Mr Mcebisi Skwatcha handed over three agriculture projects worth R12m in Potchefstroom, JB Marks Local Municipality recently. The assistance in these projects has been continuous over two financial years to enable them to be in full functioning position.

The projects handed over include Watch P Piggery, Vhasane CCB Enterprises and Maselesego Trading Project. The projects were primarily funded through the North-West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP). The key objective of this programme is to ensure that communities achieve an increase in production as well as to fight against the challenges poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The Department supported Watch P project with a 30-sow unit for the piggery, supply and delivery of production inputs. The department further handed over mechanization package to Vhasane CCB Enterprises for horticulture production and Ponds structure to Maselesego Trading Project.

MEC Desbo Mohono in her handing over remarks expressed gratitude and satisfaction with the current performance of the projects. She was satisfied that the projects were going to impact positively to the lives of locals. “I am confident that the beneficiaries will be able to take the projects to greater heights and represent the North-West Province commercially,” emphasized Mohono.

One of the beneficiaries Palesa Watch of Watch P Piggery is already making strides. She is currently breeding with 30 sows and selling at the local abattoir and auctions. Palesa’s journey of piggery, started in the year 2010 and she never looked back. “I am grateful to the Department for the work they’ve done on the farm, the sow units will assist in supply of improved breeding stock for markets,” said Palesa. As part of the future plans, Palesa is planning to sell to the local farmers who are operating grower units.

Mr Gilbert Nesane of Vhasane CCB Enterprises, a vegetable production project, has already secured a market with Matlosana Fresh Produce as well other major retailers selling Swiss chard, Cabbage, Hubbard squash. With about six permanent workers and occasionally employing eight more, Nesane is adamant that his project is making a difference in his and other people’s lives. He was handed a
mechanization package which include a tractor, storage cooler and garden equipment. “The mechanisation package will assist in making the farm work easier and faster and will assist in taking us from small-holder to commercial scale. We appreciate how government responds to the needs of the people, especially farmers. We hope to contribute to driving the economy of the province through agriculture,” exclaimed Nesane.

The third project, Maselelsego Trading, owned by Lucky Masetlhe was handed over the Ponds structure. The Department has also assisted with the project with tunnels, a solar electricity system and a mobile cooler.

The support to the farmers is in line with MEC Desbo Mohono’s Budget Speech 2023/2024 commitment that Producer Support and Development contribution will mostly be through CASP and Ilima Letsema.

256A7630.JPG – MEC Desbo Mohono hands over certificate to Ms Palesa Watch of Watch P Piggery
256A7757.JPG – MEC Desbo Mohono together with the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Land
Reform and Rural Development, Mr Mcebisi Skwatcha handing over mechanization package to
Vhasane CCB Enterprises
256A7832.JPG – MEC Desbo Mohono ribbon cutting at the handover of the Maselesego Trading Project to Mr Lucky Lesego Masetlhe

Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Twitter: @nwpg _dard


Media Houses
Date: Thursday, 12 October 2023
Mahikeng – An increase in the number of Avian Influenza outbreaks has been recorded in Bojanala District from four (4) to ten (10) chicken houses and the spread is currently confined to layer farms to date. The 10 000-layer unit which was affected since the outbreak, saw a drastic drop in egg production and has increased biosecurity by managing each unit as an independent house. The farm has been served with a quarantine notice.
An additional farm in Bojanala was reported to the Department yesterday, 11 October 2023. The export certificates that were previously issued for this farm by the Veterinary Services Directorate have since been revoked.

“The department requests all farmers to apply for exemption to slaughter should they be unable to meet the required biosecurity measures. Some farms who had an outbreak progressed immediately to culling and have already started making plans to disinfect. This process will help to resolve the outbreak much faster and prepare for resumption of business as soon as possible. Farms that decided to postpone culling because birds have stopped dying will remain under quarantine as they cannot prove freedom from the disease,” explained Veterinary Services Director, Dr Langa Madyibi.

Dr Madyibi further advised that farmers who have visited infected farms and have a large stock of eggs in the store have an option of selling the eggs to approved disinfecting houses. In that manner, they can maintain their businesses as the eggs will be disinfected and processed.

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Desbo Mohono says currently South Africa does not allow vaccination for Avian Influenza and the only solution that is provided in the case of an outbreak is culling of the birds and disinfection. “Vaccines available in the international market should be registered and approved by medicines registering authorities in South Africa to be used in the country. A protocol for the use of vaccines by any farm has been drawn and made available to farmers. The first requirement for any facility or farm to be approved to vaccinate for Avian Influenza is that they should be registered as a ZA facility with DALRRD which requires them to attain strict biosecurity standards,” MEC clarified.

Issuing of Veterinary Health Certificates has affected the export of eggs and live chickens to prevent further spreading of the virus to other countries. Farmers who were previously not registered as South African facilities should consider going through the process that would qualify them to be approved for vaccination. These farmers are assisted by State Veterinarians.

Farmers are strongly advised to adhere to strict biosecurity measures which include preventing wild birds from coming into contact with domesticated chickens. Meat and eggs from infected farms and dead chickens should not be used for human or predator animal consumption.

For more information contact Dr Langa Madyibi: Veterinary Services Director in the North West Province on 066 190 9190
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Issued by the Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Tel: 018 389 5684
Cell: 060 745 4020
Twitter: @nwpg_dard


Mahikeng – Communities in the North West, including farmers are warned against
veld fires that are predominant during this season. Burning of vegetation during land
preparation, and disposing of cigarette stubs, matches, and lighters is discouraged
especially where they can potentially cause fire.

Accidents, deliberate acts of arson, burning of debris, and fireworks are as well
substantial causes of wildfires. Residents are also cautioned not to throw bottles in the
veld as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires.

Farmers are advised to ensure that firebreaks are well placed, especially in summer
when the fuel load is high and may exacerbate the spread of fires. “Veld fires are a
threat to life, livestock, and vegetation. Owners of land are encouraged to comply with
the National Veld and Forest Fire Act Act 101 of 1998 by constructing, maintaining fire
breaks, and ensuring that firefighting equipment is well serviced.

“A number of cases have been recorded and this raises an environmental management
and sustainability impact concern as the effects posed by veld fires include property
damage, reduced soil fertility, destruction of vegetation, grazing land for animals, air
and water pollution as well as the destruction of wildlife,” said the Department of
Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Desbo Mohono.

Although human error is not the only cause of veld fires, weather conditions and
environmental factors such as drought, winds, and extreme heat can cause the fire to
spread faster and be extremely dangerous.

Members of the public are advised to refrain from containing or putting out veld fires
themselves as this may pose a danger to them. In the event of a fire, contact trained
personnel to extinguish the fire.

Contact details in case of emergency:
Chairperson of the North West Umbrella Fire Protection Association (NWUFPA)
Eric Stoch: 071 077 6653

Issued by:
Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
Twitter: @nwpg _dard
YouTube: North West Agriculture and Rural Development


The South African Beekeeping delegation led by the Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development Head of Department Mr Thupi Mokhatla engaged with the Ministry of Natural
Resources and Tourism (MNRT), Forestry and Beekeeping Division Director, Mr Deusdedit
K Bwoyo and officials from the Tanzanian Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI) on
strategies to develop the Apimondia industry and to enhance effective management of
beekeeping resources for conservation and socio-economic development in the North West
Province (NWP). The five-day benchmarking exercise which took place from the 24 – 28
July 2023 shed light on various methods of beekeeping that are used by Tanzania and as
a result, has steered the country into becoming a top producer of honey in Africa.

The Tanzanian Beekeeping production regions have been reserves where beekeepers can
keep their hives at a fee. To ensure the sustainability of this industry, the law prohibits
cutting down of trees within the reserved areas, and surrounding areas benefit from
increased protection. To enforce the preservation of its forestry and bee reserves, the
country developed a policy that safeguards the protection of its natural and indigenous

“The National Beekeeping policy developed in 1998 aims to enhance the contribution of
the Beekeeping sector to the sustainable development of Tanzania and conservation and
management of its natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
We are currently in the process of developing strategies to increase production of honey
and its products in the country,” said Forestry and Beekeeping Division Director, Mr
Deusdedit K Bwoyo.

Currently, the country produces thirty-two (32) thousand tons of honey per annum with
an estimated 72 400 beehives of which 70% are traditional beehives such as logs and
bark. Despite the transitional beekeeping methods, Tanzania remains the second biggest
producer of honey in the African continent and the government maintains the support and
development of bee farmers through various grants and funding methods. MNRT has also
established a Beekeeping Training Institute that offers a certificate and Diploma in
Beekeeping as part of their vision of commercializing beekeeping, enhancing skills
development that encourages beekeeping as not only a profession but a business that can
contribute to household income and address poverty and unemployment.

The highly successful and informative benchmarking excursion yielded the expected
results and subsequently, the DARD Head of Department Mr Thupi Mokhatla encouraged
collaboration between the two countries. “We have identified a number of areas where
we can collaborate through trade, training, research, and policy development to support
our beekeepers in the North West Province. It is important for both countries to maximize
the beekeeping value chain and ensure that we have a competitive advantage in Africa
and the world,” said Mr Mokhatla.

The two beekeepers from the North West Province who were part of the delegation
contributed to the discussions and shared beekeeping methods practiced in the province
and South Africa at large. “This was an eye-opening exercise as we have realized that
collaboration can take programmes to greater heights. We’ve also learned that through
commitment North West can become the hub of honey production in the future and this

can be done in partnership with our department. As beekeepers in the province, we’d like
to extend our gratitude to the department for this excursion, we are so thankful for the
support the department is offering to beekeepers and we will share what we have learned
in Tanzania with other bee farmers,” said the Chairperson of the North West Beekeepers
Association, Kenalemang Mooketsi.

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

MEC Mohono announces programmes to empower farmers

Mahikeng – In her Departmental budget vote yesterday, Thursday, 25 May 2023 at the North-West Provincial Legislature, MEC Desbo Mohono announced a number of various programmes aimed at empowering farmers in all four districts of the province.

She announced that her Department will roll out of a mentorship programme in collaboration with the Agricultural Commodities Groups and Breeders Association in the current financial year. The programme will include the six (6) agricultural commodities aligned to the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan (AAMP) as well as the apiculture for a period of 12 months.

“A partnership with the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), Agricultural Research Council and the North-West University will see a total of 2 500 farmers being empowered through farmer training and capacity building during the 2023/24 financial year,” MEC Desbo Mohono said.
Currently a total of forty five (45) young farmers participating in the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) programme, are undergoing training through Kgora Farmer Training Centre as part of our collaboration with DALRRD.

MEC Mohono further highlighted that the Department will resuscitate and strengthen designated groups formations such as Women in Agriculture and Rural Development (WARD) and Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development (YARD) during the 2023/24 financial year.

“Both the Local and Provincial structures of Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development (YARD) and Women in Agriculture and Rural Development (WARD) will be launched in June and August this year respectively. The two formations were part of the National Agricultural Marketing Expo (NAMPO) this month and the Department ensured its full support for them to become part of this prime agricultural expo,” MEC Mohono said.

With the high rate of joblessness recently reported by Statistics South Africa, Mohono has committed the Department to contracting a hundred and twenty (120) unemployed graduates through its Unemployed Agricultural Graduate Programme as part of alleviating unemployment in the province. The recruitment advert will be out by end of May month and once appointed, the beneficiaries will be placed on sixty-four (64) farms across the four districts of the province.

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