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Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development Department officials at Ramatlabama Clinic and Rankudu Primary School during outreach & educational programme.

MAHIKENG-Number of schools in and around the Mahikeng Local Municipality have benefited a great deal from a two week long campaign by Extension Officers from North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development aimed at increasing awareness amongst school learners on issues of food security programme.

This campaign which is aimed at encouraging learners to plant their own vegetables garden, is part of a build up to a major provincial agricultural show dubbed Bokone Bophirima Agricultural Growth and Investment Show (BBAGIS) set to take place in Kgora Farmers Training Centre situated in Ramatlabama village from next Tuesday, the 20th -23rd November 2018.

Phera Primary, Rankudu primary, Omega Primary, Magokgwane Primary and Melorane Primary School are some of the schools which have been benefited from this campaign.
Other than agri-education, these schools received seedlings, fertilizers and garden tools such as tunnels from the department.

The awareness has been a success and learners were very pleased to know about opportunities found within the agricultural sector and they were also taught about the importance of food security and nutrition.
Bokamoso Majwe (11) a grade 6 pupil from Rankudu Primary School in Ikopeleng village was very delighted of the initiative the department took. “I am very happy to have learned about the importance of planting and how diverse agriculture is, we as a growing generation should plant for our families so that they can eat healthy food,’’ said Bokamoso.
Another grade 6 learner Molemo Molebalwa from Phera Primary in Tsetse village said she has learn a lot from these campaign by Agricultural Officers “ I have learned that it’s very essential to keep our gardens in good conditions to get good and healthy vegetables,” said Molebalwa.

The campaign was not only restricted to schools.
Seventy (70) households around Ramatlabama, ten (10) in Moshawane , five (5) in Tsetse, five (5) in Miga, thirty (30) in Makgokgwane and twenty (20) in Ikopeleng village have also benefited. These identified households received seedlings of green-pepper, beetroots, onions, spinach and cabbages to plant in their own gardens.

Mr Tshepo Rantlhana (39) beneficiary from Ikopeleng village said he is very grateful that the seeds he will plant will generate an extra income for his household.
“This came at the right time. Many thanks to Department of Rural Environment and Agricultural Development,” Rantlhana said.

According to Rakhase Monametsi an Extension Officer based in Ngaka Modiri Molema District,
this campaign is just a sneak peek of what people should expect at Kgora Farmers Training Centre next week during the Agricultural show.
The build-up has begun! Acclaimed Rakhase Monametsi.
“These campaigns are very close to my heart. The positive feedbacks we are getting from beneficiaries are what keep us going”.
Monametsi said this is the usual educational campaigns by Extension Officers and she said the campaign will even continue after BBAGIS.

MEC Manketsi Tlhape has said food security is very important.
“Food security is not a departmental issue hence we are targeting schools and households with the aim of getting them to start planting their own vegetable gardens.
“In actual fact, everyone should get involved in this food security programme,” says MEC Tlhape.
The aim of the program by Extension Officers is to support rural schools, villages and deprived families with farming education and also a way in which households can generate income and provide for themselves.