The Southern District Agricultural Show gets underway this week with the organising committee’s spokesperson Bobby Gaseitsiwe insisting it represents the beginning of big things to come in the annual event.
How have preparations been so far?
It has been a long journey since the Organising Committee was elected into office in October 2016. Nevertheless, it was something worth doing and we are building on a legacy of the past for the Southern District. We have interacted with different stakeholders who were willing and open to be engaged in a short time. When we look back all we can say is we indeed made it.
How many exhibitors are you expecting and in what sectors?
We are expecting many exhibitors in the area of cattle and small stock. Others will come from the educational sector, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), Financial institutions, different Government departments, Veterinary medicine and feed industries. We have also taken a decision to offer the Nyeletso Lehuma beneficiaries, stalls to exhibit without paying to allow the beneficiaries to sell their products to the public. This sector will be managed by the Southern District Council.
Any prizes for the exhibitors?
There will be prizes for all sectors including best cattle, small stock, crops, chicken, rabbits, and bees.
What makes your show different from many others?
Ours will be more educational so as to give other small sectors an opportunity to grow. We are branding our fair to be a product for the future and a true brand to be recognised. We are going to start small but with superior quality of exhibitors. We also want to lobby farmers that the show is their event and they must embrace it.
Why did you choose the theme you have chosen?
‘Agriculture Redefined’ is a loaded statement for the Southern Show. We are turning Agriculture around. The first Agriculture show started in Kanye in 1941 and it is in order that it has to be redefined as the engine of economic growth for the district and the country. The best Brahman farmer and judge namely Mr Basimanyana Masire resides in this district. There are also Mosesidi farmers of repute just as a living example.
How has been the corporate support?
All stakeholders have been willing to listen to us. We have got assistance from the community in the Southern District, especially farmers through donations, corporate sector, other governments departments, Ministry of Agriculture Development and Food Security staff have been an outstanding team to work with. Southern District leadership, and sponsors have contributed and made their part. We appreciate that His Honour the Vice President and MP for Moshupa/ Manyana Mokgweetsi Masisi has agreed to be our Guest Speaker. We urge the public to come in large numbers to support and grow the show. To us this project should create employment for the youth in a year or two. Our vision is to make the showground a place the community can invest in. There are many avenues in which we can partner with private sector. We will be introducing horse racing this year but on a small scale. Our intention is to organise another event before the next show in 2018. Gates will be open to the public on August 4th and 5th.