Agriculture is key to food sufficiency

SHARE   |   Sunday, 20 July 2014   |   By Comment

Two very important events took place over the past weekend. The two are the Gantsi and Mmadinare agricultural shows.

These were notable moments especially in Botswana at a time when the country is looking to sustain itself and reduce food imports.

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Food security is a matter of serious concern in Africa and the world in general. With so much land, Botswana should be in a position to grow enough crops to feed the nation and possibly export the surplus. Zambia, which has been regarded as one of Africa’s poorest nation, has done well in ensuring that it improves its food sufficiency.

Despite the slackness in the agricultural sector, Botswana has a potential to grow. So it is great that Batswana continue to use agricultural shows to as a platform to rally others and encourage them to get involved or promote agriculture as a sector. The Mmadinare Agricultural Show, which was graced by Mmadinare Member of Parliament, who is also the Vice-President, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, had a good attendance and also featured a variety of agricultural products.

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While at the show, Kedikilwe also revealed that a few months back he toured some fields at Mmatau and Nkwanapedi in Mmadinare North and went on to attend a farmers’ field day at Mmatau Lands where farmers staged a mini-agricultural show of their green produce. This really shows that Batswana are eager to improve on the quality of their agricultural produce. Farmers’ day events are workshops meant for farmers to share notes and benchmark with the best.

The Mmadinare show organisers was a success despite that it is an area that has been hard-hit by  serious challenges like the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD).

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Meanwhile Gantsi has always been popular for being the premier producer of Botswana’s best beef. The district is arguably home to a largest number of cattle that contribute significantly to the population of cattle in Botswana. This is one of the districts where commercial farming is practised with passion. Most of the farmers there have taken to utilising resources like land, feeds and others optimally to produce the best out of their farming businesses. A lot of farmers, especially communal grazing farmers can learn a lot from Gantsi cattle ranchers. The good thing is that a lot of people had descended on the district to come and learn more from these farmers in the last weekend. 

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On a different note, this weekend will be a long one as it is the President’s Day holidays. It is a time for workers, friends and relatives to take it easy and have fun. As is usual in Botswana, this is a time when many people would be traveling to various places around and out of Botswana to visit friends, relatives or even to tour places of interest. People will be in a jubilant mood. Others see this as an opportunity to travel to their cattle posts and farms to tend to their livestock; to spend time with the herdsmen and attend to some errands that have been pending. We would like to ask our readers and all members of the public to be vigilant and avoid being robbed of their property and also most importantly, for those who will be travelling, to drive safely and ensure that we all come back safe after the holidays.



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