So you are tired of the fact that to this day, we are still importing peaches from South Africa? We too! So the Orchard Society is a cooperative being formed under the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Innovation Hub, whose job is to introduce as many orchards across the country as possible. “The idea is to grow grape and peach trees in protected and cared-for orchards in suitable lands,” said Mr Tšeliso Khoaeane who is leading the project from the Hub.
The peaches and the grapes will be sold as raw, dried and later as juices and wines.
HOW IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN?
(a) A cooperative is being formed. Any willing person who lives in Lesotho can be member.
(b) Members will make monthly deposits into the coop as their contribution. The contributions will be withdrawn from members’ bank accounts so the coop will be cashless and paperless.
(c) Such contributions will be continuous, that means you will keep contributing as long as you are a member.
(d) Each time there is enough money to create a single orchard, such orchard will be created!
HOW WILL THE ORCHARDS BE DONE?
(a) Suitable lands will be located for each orchard.
(b) Each orchard will be fenced for security.
(c) There will be security guards in each orchard.
(d) Fruit trees will then be grown in a protected manner
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE THE FRUITS ARE RIPE?
(a) They may be sold as raw—this will be the first step.
(b) Some will be dried and packaged (NUL Innovation has a company that is producing great driers).
(c) Some will be turned into juices and wines.
HOW WILL THE COOP MEMBERS BENEFIT?
- They will be shareholders in any of the businesses owned by the society and they will benefit according to how much they have contributed.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
(a) The leading team will work with the advices of the Ministry of Small Business and Cooperatives and the Ministry Forestry and Land Reclamation to form and structure the society.
(b) The society will then be registered.
(c) Interested members will then be encouraged to join.
(d) Since everything must follow proper channels, this will take time but it will be done, so keep on the watch.
It’s time to not only make Lesotho green but do it with fruit trees and orchards!
How is that?