Botswana: Agriculture Remains Priority

| July 9, 2016

Agriculture remains one of the key priorities of government's developmental agenda, President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama has said.

President Khama said this when officiating at the 42nd Ghanzi agricultural show today (July 9). Agriculture, he said, had been identified as one of the areas for diversifying the economy, adding that the industry was a critical component of the economy and productivity of any country especially in food security.

As a sector earmarked for stimulating the economy, President Khama said that government had since channeled substantial financial resources into the agriculture sector through various programs such as LIMID, ISPAAD and the Young Farmers Fund.

Government also transferred functions of the Livestock Advisory Centres (LACs) to Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB), to create one stop shop for farmers. He also said government continued to adopt policies and programmes aimed at improving production capacity on food security as a country as well as research targeted towards enriching output.

President Khama commended Ghanzi farmers on their efforts to continue producing crops which over the years many believed could not do well in the Ghanzi District. He also acknowledged dairy farmers in Ghanzi District and hoped others could benchmark. He noted that farming should be treated as business not a hobby.

Lt Gen. Dr Khama said the Economic Stimulus Program (ESP) would during this financial year undertake a number of projects, among others, grading of roads leading to agricultural production areas, electrification of production clusters, construction of service centres at various strategic areas and the establishment of a grey water irrigation scheme.

He acknowledged the challenge of climate change that impacted on agriculture research efforts. He therefore said farmers needed to adopt climate smart farming to mitigate its effects.

President Khama commended Ghanzi show organizing committee and the community for hosting the event. The show provided farmers with an opportunity to exhibit their products and share ideas as well as inspire and motivate those who attended the event to venture into farming.

Ghanzi agricultural show did not only promote agricultural sector but also tourism, transport and logistics as well as small medium enterprises.

Source: Botswana Daily News

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