Lesotho Contact Information
Mr. Thabang Mokone, from Ha ‘Mamathe village in Berea district, 59 km northeast of Maseru city in Lesotho, has become a renowned conservation agriculture (CA) farmer. As a result of the knowledge and skills he gained from working with the Norwegian Government-funded, FAO-led project “Upscaling conservation agriculture for improved food security using the CAADP framework”, the 65-year old former miner has become a successful farmer and community leader. He is leader and mentor to 30 CA farmers in his area.
How it all began
Benefits to Thabang’s household and community
Prior to the introduction of CA technology, Thabang had been comfortably cultivating the soil using the oxdrawn plough. Because he did not have cattle of his own, he had to wait for those farmers with livestock to finish working their own fields before they could assist him. It often meant that he planted his fields late, which affected his yields. As he didn’t know better, he was happy with an average maize yield of 60–80 kg that he obtained each year from his field. This harvest could only sustain his family for 2–3 months. At that time, he saw no reason to complain because he believed that was all his soil could give. “I did not know that my soil had potential to produce four times more than what it was giving me” Thabang said. Thabang has gained valuable knowledge on how to ensure that his soil maintains good organic matter, high water infiltration rate, improved structure and texture with minimal weed invasion. This has given him confidence to apply CA to larger portions of his land.
Thabang’s harvest has since increased to 800 kg and his ambition is to increase it to 1 tonne. Other than maize, wheat, beans and peas, he also produces vegetables and potatoes for consumption and for sale. Thabang is not only able to feed his family, he can also donate food to the needy in his community. In addition, he adds with a smile, CA has brought him and his wife closer as they spend part of each day together working in their fields.