Five members of Rethabile Youth in Agriculture Cooperative have brought a sigh of relief to communal livestock farmers in Morokweng and the surrounding villages, by choosing to sell and dispense animal vaccines and feeds, as the key focus of their cooperative.
Situated in Morokweng village outside Vryburg in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District, the cooperative was funded by the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to the tune of R150 000.00 in 2011, for them to start providing this service. To ensure the co-operative’s sustainability, a further R500 000.00 was spent by the department during the 2012 financial year, which was used for the purchasing of a truck, refrigerator, office furniture, generator, water tank, and more animal vaccines.
In a bid to encourage members to perform their work efficiently, these young people, three males and two females, were taken through a Business Management course which was offered at Kgora Farmer Training Centre in Ramatlabama.
Ms Gomotsegang Bok who is the cooperative Secretary, says their service has brought a difference as farmers are no longer travelling long distances to buy animal feeds and vaccines. “We are getting much support from the local livestock farmers”, said Bok adding that they are able to purchase more feeds and vaccines from the sales income. “We are also getting a monthly stipend out of the income generated from the sales of goods, whilst the remaining funds are banked”, she remarked.
The cooperative has been supported by the Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) who provided more animal vaccines and a refrigerator for the keeping of vaccines. SEDA has also assisted by developing the cooperative’s constitution, logo, marketing leaflets and a certificate of registration.
The North West MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Desbo Mohono says the work of this co-operative represents the department’s effort to increase the accessibility of veterinary services at the far flung areas of the province. “We are more pleased that under the supervision of the department’s deployed Animal Health Technicians and State Veterinarians, young people in this area are the ones anchoring a shared vision on the provision of Primary Animal Health Care services,” expressed MEC Mohono.
Mohono encouraged these young people to work as a team, saying this will enable them to grow from strength to strength.