Agriculture Priority Sector

New farming techniques can help increase output as well as produce quality products.

Through agriculture, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama said, Batswana could become self-sufficient in food provision and also produce raw materials for other industries.

“Let me underline that in terms of job creation, rural income generation and food security, agriculture remains a priority economic sector with still untapped potential,” President Khama said during Serowe district show on Saturday (July 25). He discouraged the spirit of giving up especially when there were no sufficient rains.

Consequently, he urged farmers and related lobby groups to devise strategies and formulate ideas of improving farming.

President Khama called on farmers to take leaf from Israel, one of the mostly arid countries, yet it was self-sufficient in food.

President Khama stated that imported food was expensive to Batswana and hence the need for local produce.

“One can only highlight what paramount is the need to produce sufficient quantities of quality food, which both affordable and accessible to the consumers,” said President Khama.

He said with the living examples such as Serowe district show committee chairman, Mr Keletso Rakhudu and Minister of Agriculture Mr Patrick Ralotsia, farmers were in good hands.

In its quest to lead improved farming techniques, President Khama said, government had come up with key interventions such as integrated support programme for arable agriculture development (ISPAAD), livestock management and infrastructure development program (LIMID) and animal disease control measures.

In addition, he said government had introduced special ISPAAD programme for areas such as Kgalagadi, Ghanzi and parts of Kweneng and Southern districts where crop production was not suitable.

Though he preached food self-sufficiency, President Khama conceded to some challenges albeit being addressed.

He said recurring drought and foot and mouth disease were the dominant challenges curtailing food security in the country.

Source : BOPA