1.FROM SOCIAL PROTECTION TO PRODUCTION
2.EVIDENCE BUILDING ON CLIMATE SMART AND RESILIENT AGRICULTURE
4.SMALLHOLDER FARMERS ENGAGING WITH POLICY MAKER AND PRIVATE SECTOR
Through our ongoing agricultural development work, RSDA is in a unique position to offer a selection of services to rural communities, NGOs and other organisations.
RSDA’s chicken hatchery breeds the indigenous chickens which are highly recommended for rural communities. Chickens provide households with nutrition through eggs and meat. The breeding takes place at RSDA’s farm in Mafeteng where we provide training on Hatchery Management, Chick Management and Parent Stock Management to smallholder farmers who are opting to also go commercial. The farm also demonstrates the 4 business models that farmers can choose from to establish their own business. And they are:
- The parent stock rearing to supply with both fertile and table eggs.
- The hatchery where day old chicks are produced and sold at day old.
- The 4-6 weeks chicks which are raised from day old to this age.
- The chick rearers who buy the 4-6 weeks to raise to point of lay for either consumption or egg supply.
In an effort to ensure open-pollinated seeds are readily available to Lesotho’s farmers, RSDA contracts local farmers to cultivate various open-pollinated seed varieties. These seeds are available from RSDA’s seed store at its Mafeteng office. Seed varieties available from the RSDA seed store include: Nelson’s Choice, Silver King and Grace variety maize; Macia sorghum. And, in future, cow peas and greengram legumes.
Community mobilisation training
The staff at RSDA have many years of experience leading and implementing various agricultural and community communications projects for national and international organisations. RSDA staff regularly conduct training courses in the Machobane farming system, water harvesting techniques, conservation farming, permaculture (home gardens), rural finance, dairy cow husbandry, chicken rearing and husbandry and community information courses in HIV/Aids. Staff are also able to tailor courses as required.
Dairy cow breeding and rearing centre
In the past, Lesotho’s dairy farmers have found it difficult to access affordable dairy cows and services for artificial insemination (AI). To address this deficiency, in 2008 RSDA opened a dairy cow breeding and rearing centre in Mafeteng district. The centre has stock of Friesland, Brown Swiss and Jersey dairy cows and heifers. In its first year, the centre produced 10 calves and on-sold another half-dozen weaners. Staff at the centre have also being trained to deliver AI services to dairy farmers. AI dairy services are now available in Maseru and Mafeteng districts. Farmers are also trained on feeding technologies where they produce and mix their own feed.