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LNIG donates to LDF

Mamohlakola Letuka

THE Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) and Minute Insurance recently donated farming equipment to support the Lesotho Defence Force’s (LDF) food production projects.

The handover ceremony was held at the Makoanyane barracks in Maseru and follows LDF’s request for farming implements’ support from both insurance companies.

Through the donated farming implements, including two tractors, two ploughs, a planter and a boom sprayer; the LDF expects to boost its Food Security operations.

The insurance companies will also construct a warehouse to improve the storage and handling of the produce.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Defense and National Security Minister, Sentje Lebona said he was pleased to note the confidence the insurance companies had in the capacity and commitment by the LDF towards working to increase food production.

He said the farming equipment would go a long way to boost production while importantly, the storage facility will improve handling of produce and reduce food losses.

Currently, the LDF is producing food on a 45 hactares of land.

Mr Lebona explained that while profit-making organisations have an obligation to give-back to the community, the decision to do so and who to support was a prerogative of the organisations.

In the case of the insurance companies, they had made a decision to support food production by the LDF, based on the good work they noticed in their efforts to fight hunger, he said.

“I am proud of the companies’ leadership and my appreciation is immeasurable because this donation came at the right time when LDF has embarked on expanding its food production projects aimed at ensuring food security and self-sustenance. This support will go a long way to augment both the food production and storage capacity of the LDF,” Mr Lebona said.

He also commended the LDF’s vision to maximise the utilization of arable land to ensure that it assisted the government in meeting its food needs.

Echoing the minister’s sentiments, Defense and National Security Principal Secretary, Colonel Tanki Mothae said the LDF had always worked closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in all the districts, to help fight hunger.

“This country is at peace and it is time to take a stand and wage war that is focused on ending hunger because hunger affects the quality to health and also also kills many people in many developing countries,” Col. Mothae said, adding more support was needed to continue improving the LDF’s capacity to produce more food, which can also improve the country’s food reserves.

Also speaking at the same event, the LNIG Managing Director, Ralitapole Letsoela said his company’s relationship with the LDF has existed for many years, as client and service provider.

He said his organization understands that the LDF was trying to get themselves out of poverty and as a partner, it was their duty to help the organization achieve this goal.

Mr Letsoela added that, farming was an expensive and difficult venture, which demanded investing in the necessary equipment, skills, passion and dedication in order to succeed.

He further said, after discussing the food production projects with the LDF and assessing their previous and current capacity for production, they were convinced that they were investing in a good cause.

Mr Letsoela said his company was aware of the need for additional support and encouraged other companies to also come on board in support of an LDF that would significantly contribute to ending hunger.

“We have contributed two tractors during this era of peace where we strongly believe that we should all be working together to ensure an end to depending on imported food. We are happy that with a better yield, LDF can save money budgeted for food in the barracks,” Mr Letsoela said.

The LDF Acting Chief Commander, Major-General Lineo Poopa reiterated the importance of food production within his organization, explaining that LDF has a division fully dedicated to food security.

He said the division does not only focus on crop production but also has livestock production that has seen LDF producing enough pork, eggs and milk for their consumption.

“We are happy with the tractors because we only had an old one, which was unable to support our planned expansion. I have no doubt that this support will help to improve production and ensure self-sufficiency,” Maj-Gen Poopa said.

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