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


Mahikeng – Constrained and limited access to markets particularly for smallholder farmers is one of the key barriers to the province’s attempts of accelerating agriculture sector growth.

In order to address this, MEC Desbo Mohono on Thursday, 25 May 2023 at the Provincial Legislature, said her Department is working tirelessly to make sure that farmers have access to the markets.

“With the solemn intent of creating a platform to link smallholder farmers to the market and to showcase their produce to open market opportunities, the Department took it upon itself to collaborate with the hospitality industry and mining houses to expose our farmers to the possible market. I am committed to engage both industries in pursuit of market access for the benefit of farmers in the North-West,” said MEC Mohono during her budget vote address.

She also announced that the Mining Development Agency (MDA) is partnering with the Department to develop communities by training farmers in much needed and relevant skills and through this partnership. Sibanye mine funded the construction of an Agri-Hub through the MDA in Marikana near Rustenburg and is also developing and training farmers in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District.

During the previous financial year, the Department in collaboration with the Perishable Product Export Control Board (PPECB), implemented the South African Good Agricultural Practice (SAGAP) certification program. This program is intended at assisting smallholder producers to access both local and international markets by producing good quality products that comply with food safety and quality standards as required by the market.

The certification program ensures health and safety to consumers and helps producers to gain gradual recognition and acceptance from mainstream commercial markets. Since the inception of this programme, fifteen (15) vegetable producers have been awarded compliance certificates, seven (7) in 2021/22 and eight (8) during the financial year 2022/23. The Department will this year enroll six more smallholder farmers to the South African Good Agricultural Practice (SA-GAP) Program.

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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


Rusternburg – In its quest to accelerate the growth and development of beekeepers in the province, the MEC for Agricultire and Rural Development in the North West Desbo Mohono has officially launched the North West Province Beekeepers Association (NWPBA) last Friday, 19 May 2023 during the Provincial World Bee Day celebration event held in Luka Village near Rusternburg.

Themed: “BEE ENGAGED: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems”, this year’s event was aimed at heightening awareness about the influence of the bee economy and to enhance the participation of rural women and young people in the apiculture sector.

The launched association which is represented in the South African Beekeepers Industry Organisation and the Honey Judges and Guild of South Africa as adjudicating team (HJT), is expected to also tackle challenges such as market access that are faced within in the apiculture sector.

The team led by Chairperson Kenalemang Mooketsi and Secretary Nkwe Metswamere have assumed their duties and are dedicated to elevating the provision of resources, training of their members and offer support. “We aim to encourage the improvement and advancement of Apiculture within North West by promoting the exchange of ideas between members, the public and other institutions as well as endorse and safeguard the interests of apiarists in general by ensuring that honey, hives and other derivatives comply with standards established by government” said Kenalemang.

During her address, MEC Desbo Mohono said government is ready to assist aspirant beekeepers’ as there is an abundance of opportunities within the sector. “Training of beekeepers will be prioritised and intensified. We will also continue to robustly market and position beekeeping in the province as a poverty reducing tool. Just as we are committed to improving the fortunes of beekeepers and to advancing shared prosperity for all, so too is our commitment to achieving a large pool of real Beekeeper’s in the entire province,” said MEC Mohono.

Proceedings of the day were also marked by a visit to Thethe Secondary School, where an awareness drive was executed. Learners were educated on the importance of bees, their role in the agricultural ecosystem and monetary value. Grade twelve learner Ditiro Selemela expressed excitement about the information they received. “We appreciate that the department saw it fit to open our imagination to the world of bees and how we can start sustainable businesses from them. As learners, our role is to now share what we were taught today and share it with our communities as well as those close to us. We’ve always known bees to be dangerous but as of now, we will take care of them and continue to research about apiculture. Some of us here today have definitely benefited from this session, and maybe as we start our journeys next year as young adults, we will enter the industry as beekeepers,“ Selemela expressed.

The number of beekeepers in North West continues to rise as more people especially youth, are showing an interest in the sector. The department’s database has grown from five (5) in 2019 to eighty (80) beekeepers and MEC has called on all apiarists across all four districts of the Province to register on its database.

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


Media Houses
Date: Monday, 27 March 2023

The 3rd Africa Regional Apimondia Symposium which took place at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) from 21 – 24 March 2023 yielded relationships for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) with other African countries and beekeepers. The four-day conference and networking platform was an information-sharing and policy development session for the apiculture economy that is expected to grow exponentially in Africa and particularly the North West Province of South Africa in the coming years.
MEC Mohono pronounced during her address at the symposium that as part of collaborating with African countries to grow the industry, the department will embark on an excursion to Tanzania during the year to benchmark the successful methods that it has implemented for its farmers including beekeepers. She also emphasized the use of African natural resources especially bees in fighting the cycle of financial dependence by African countries as well as the rising unemployment, poverty, and inequality.
“It’s critical that beekeepers set an example and show people the potential that we have as Africans. This is a very rich continent, so as Africans, we need to protect what is ours. Our bees are one of the best and as African beekeepers, it is important for us to ensure we protect them from extinction. I want to appreciate you all because you have shown the world that you also have potential,” said MEC Mohono at the Apimondia Africa roundtable discussion facilitated by the International Apimondia President, Jeff Pettis.

One of the twenty beekeepers from the North West, Kamohelo Wayne Molelekwa (24) from the Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District said what stood out for him as a young entrepreneur during discussions is the positive impact bees have on the environment. “As a start-up beekeeper, it is important for me to apply the solutions presented at the symposium. There are multiple strategies that we should implement especially in rural South Africa that were shared by world experts. As entrepreneurs in the North West we need to ensure the sustainability of our business. This event has assured the confidence that we have in this sector and in our leadership. We now see the importance of collaboration to grow and develop ourselves as beekeepers”.
North West beekeepers also participated in the Honey, Mead, and Bee Products Competition and were awarded in various categories including a 1st Prize in 3D Art created by Mmatau Mosiane. Other prizes awarded were 2nd and 3rd in Select Honey as well as the Beeswax Wax Block Category.
In closing the Symposium, the African Regional Apimondia Commissioner David Mukomana said the gathering was testimony that working together there is so much business that African countries can generate from apiculture. “The only reason why we have not had a lot of business coming from the sector is that we were fragmented as beekeepers. From now we would like to see people working collaboratively and this is going to propel Africa to another level because this sector can be the economic driver or significant contributor to the domestic product of many nations across the continent. If followed by looking at the discussions and feedback that I have received from the development agencies present here. I am excited that a lot of work is going to happen, a lot of community projects are going to be supported because of the discussions that have happened here and we are going to see livelihoods improved lives improved and we increase the quality of life of our communities it’s from the row communities,” said Mukomana.

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All Journalists
All Media Houses
Thursday , 1 6 February 2023

With South Africa s agriculture being one of the world s most diverse sectors , there is a growing demand toimprove subsistence farming or informal small scale farming. Trade and Marketing information is essential for farmers who wish to become fully market orientated and ensure that their production is in line with market demand. To respond to this demand, t he North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development rec e ntly hosted a capacity building workshop in Bojanala District to assist farmers from Madibeng Local Municipality plan their
production and marketing activities in accordance with market needs, as well as to participate effectively in the markets.

The workshop emphasized on enhancing the accessibility of the agricultural trade and marketing information to farmers in the horticult ural sector, the information session wa s essential for farmers who wish to become fully market orientated so that their productio n is in line w ith the market demand. The availability of reliable market information help s farmers reduce the risks associated with marketing, decide where to sell their produce, check whether the prices they are offered are in line with market prices, and decide whether or not to store, or grow produce out of season ” or grow different products. Amongst others, the presentations highlighted the u se of chemicals for pest control a ccess to market prices ; br oad strategic guidance on how to correctly price products in o rder to compete in the market ; a c cessing international markets ; h ow to supply othe r countries and the need for products to be of international standards .

as well as b randing a nd development of business plan s Welcoming th e informative session one of the farmers , Ms Thato Dibetso , a sweet potato farmer in the area appreciated the workshop and said it met her expectation s . T he presenters engagements were very informative and helpful. I think extension officers must be provided with the information in order to assist us at the ground  level because not all farmers were part of the workshop and this would allow interactions on a regular basis ,,”
said Dibetso.

Another farmer, Thabo Mogale also vouched for the information sharing session as he emphasized that it was mo re insightful and assisted in broadening his know ledge on accessing marketing information . The Department through the Directorate: Economics is intensifying efforts to assist farmers to get formal markets for their trade. Production of many farmers has been marred by marketing as a challenge and the department will move across the province to have empowerment sessions for farmers to be informed on marketing standards and requirements, and all trade negotiations and agreements including market access and facilitation of trade for products The Department would a lso in the later stage host the provincial Agricultural Market Access Summit for
smallholder farmers. The aim is to facilitate and link smallholder farmers in the province to intended market opportunities

Communication Services Directorate
Enquiries: Ms Emelda Setlhako
018 389 5684 / Cell: 060 745 4020
Twitter: @nwpg _dard