LESOTHO, Mafeteng – One of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations in 2015, is SDG 2 which aims to achieve “zero hunger.”
SDG 2 highlights the inter-linkages between food security, nutrition, rural transformation and sustainable agriculture.
It is in a pursuit to achieve SDG2 that World Vision Lesotho through its project dubbed Building sustained livelihoods and economic resilience for households, handed over 5 Rams and 5 Bucks to Kolo farmers groups in Sekameng Area Program (AP), Mafeteng Lesotho last Wednesday.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that in 2022, agricultural land productivity had decreased by 21% compared to a scenario with no climate change, fuelled by high temperatures and extreme rainfalls along with increased levels of carbon dioxide reducing nutritional quality of crops.
IPCC added that livestock production is also severely impacted by climate shocks, which are becoming increasingly frequent: 20-60% losses in animals count were recorded during serious drought events in the past decades.
As stated by World Vision Lesotho Integrated Programms Director Tohlang Ngakana, the Livelihoods and Resilience project aims to improve food security and livelihoods of households to better care and support their children.
He pointed out that climate change is one of the challenges facing the agricultural sector and livestock farming thus World Vision is helping farmers to become resilient and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
That the 5 rams and 5 bucks handed over to the farmers are expected to assist 85 families in that area through breeding off-spring for sale and improved income, improved wool and mohair production for better income and passing on improved breeds to other marginalized families with children.
Ngakana further indicated that about 344 children are assisted by World Vision Lesotho in the Sekameng AP through various programs.
Last but not least, that the Resilience and Livelihoods project has so far helped 1000 farmers in Lesotho.
World Vision Lesotho Technical program Manager Moferefere Makutlu disclosed that in Sekameng the project targeted farmers rearing merino sheep and angora goats, advancing them to open markets through provision of healthy, high quality livestock.
“The Livelihoods and Resilience project targets rural and subsistence farming households to promote productive, profitable and sustainable agriculture, services and markets that work for poor communities,” he highlighted.
From the Ministry of Forestry and Land Reclamation, Teboho Mokoati imparted to farmers the importance of proper land management of range lands and how this improves food security.
He encouraged the farmers to care for rangelands through preservation as he said one of the benefits of preserved or well cared for rangelands is having a rich land for livestock to graze on.
Mokoati achoed that proper land management has far-reaching effects on the stability and sustainable use of rangelands. And that, when the animals are well-fed, families’ well-being is guaranteed because they will provide wool, mohair, milk and meat for families.
One of the farmers who received livestock ‘Mataemane Ntikeng expressed gratitude to World Vision Lesotho. “Today we have received our own ‘mine’ as farmers. We are going to work hard to produce more, we will make more money through wool and mohair shearing thus our children will grow up in conducive environments where there is enough food and everything they need.”
Also at the event was a display of food preservation methods as a means to beat food insecurity.
The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit Round table on “Food Security” on the 7th November 2022, stated that climate change impacts, both extreme weather and slow-onset events, have impacted several sectors of the national economies and activities, in particular agriculture and food production.
It stressed the importance of deep discussions on ways to deal with the needed increase in agriculture productivity, shift to resilient agriculture, reduce losses in food production chain including through cooling solutions, and ensure relevant measures are in place for sustained food security and to manage any potential food crisis.
That global food demand continues to grow as the world’s population is expected to hit the mark of 9.6 billion by 2050. Meanwhile, 820m people are suffering from hunger as of 2021, whereas climate change continues to have drastic impacts on agricultural lands and livestock productivity.