Sustainable Triumphs in Mohale’s Hoek and Mafeteng
November 22, 2023
Sustainability takes center stage in Mohale’s Hoek Ha Nkhetheleng and Mafeteng, where beneficiaries of Sustainability takes center stage in Mohale’s Hoek Ha Nkhetheleng and Mafeteng, where beneficiaries of the GEF funded interventions are scripting tales of success.
Three years post their engagement as beneficiaries of the Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change Project (RVCC), the smallholder farmers group in Ha Nkhetheleng stands out as a thriving group. Under the leadership of Mr. Solomon Molomo, the chairperson and local chief, the farmers boast an orchard with over 2,000 trees, beekeeping and honey products, dried fruits; and protected farming, enabling them to feed the community and sell their produce.
Mr. Molomo, a dedicated leader, expressed gratitude for UNDP's support three years ago. Starting with 200 members, the group now stands at 27 committed farmers, and Molomo is particularly proud of their collaboration with the local secondary school, fostering a love for farming among the youth.
“I am so grateful that UNDP is here today to witness our success three years later after they sponsored us. They gave us a start and we worked hard to sustain what we started together. We now have this huge field where we have grown wheat and peas under block farming. We are going to get a bumper harvest of wheat enough for household consumption and for sale,” he shared.
The group also includes members specializing in beekeeping, producing honey and wax, contributing significantly to their success. Ms Malimpho Litlamo, a member, attributed their success to dedication, a shared goal of feeding the community, and the motivation derived from witnessing the benefits.
“Our common goal is to see our community successful and motivating our children. This community is full of women who are single mothers and widows, so we have learned to stand together. We are unemployed, so it is our duty to make sure that we create jobs through our farming so that we break the poverty circle,” Ms Litlamo explained.
She acknowledged the approach taken by RVCC, fostering togetherness and community mobilization, as a key factor in their success. Ms Litlamo also expressed gratitude for the support from various government entities during their farming journey and partnerships that they formed with various organizations to ensure their growth. She said these partnerships have helped them in sustaining themselves even long after grants have ended.
UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Jacqueline Olweya, visited three components of the farm – block farming, protected farming and the orchard, expressing admiration for the hardworking men and women. She promised to return during harvesting time to witness their progress.
Shifting to Mafeteng, an equally inspiring success story unfolds with Ms‘Mampho Thulo, the dynamic Director of Rural Self-Help Development Association. Thulo and her team, previous beneficiaries of the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), implemented by UNDP, have transitioned from subsistence to commercial breeding of indigenous chickens, known as "khoho ea Sesotho."
The RSDA team's success story extends beyond raising chickens; they have become a source of inspiration for others in the smallholder farming community. RSDA now plays a pivotal role in breeding and selling chickens and eggs to fellow smallholder farmers, while also imparting knowledge through training programs on poultry farming. RSDA is also looking into including horticulture and planting animal feeds. They also are currently working towards meeting global standards so that their products can sell globally as well.
Ms. Thulo, proud of her journey with the GEF SGP, highlighted her organization's independence, securing grants from other organizations to continue growing and inspiring women. She emphasized the importance of partnerships with other organizations; not only to learn from them but to collaborate in production.
Thulo's leadership in transformation highlights the potential of sustainable development initiatives. RSDA's dedication and entrepreneurial pursuit make it a shining example of how one organization's journey can uplift and empower many.