Dear Minister of Agriculture

SHARE   |   Monday, 25 May 2020   |   By Mbaakanyi Lenyatso
Dr Edwin Dikoloti, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Dr Edwin Dikoloti, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security

Dear Minister of Agriculture

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My professional name in Full is Mbaakanyi Lenyatso FCPA, CGMA, ACMA, MAAT. I am a fellow professional Accountant recognized in America, UK Botswana and global. I. Stood for elections in francistown West under UDC and I didn't win in 2019. I will in 2024 don't worry.

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My wish was to win elections become the minister of Agriculture and turn this country in one of the best localized economy. I had my own personal objectives that were supporting UDC manifesto. Even though most of my campaigns were about francistown and sorrounding but all my plans where aimed to use francistown as a launching pad to greater heights for Batswana in general.

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My letter to you is motivating you to open up and we engage both in privacy, official and public to share with you ideas to use Agriculture as a turning point to peoples lives. Most of the time people engage minister and MPs to gain orbe awarded with positions and tanders. I personal I want to offer solutions to problems facing our people.

Our farmers are faced with the following challenges.

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1) Lack of infrastructure in farming lands

2) Agricultural land

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3) Water

4) Skills

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5),¬Market

6) Funding.

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I call this challenges because we can seat down and solve all of them. The problem coursing the above is that Agriculture has just been relagated to a hobby and social activity. We need to review our minds and look to Agriculture as an Economic Empowerment tool for the locals. We must review polices and acts to help young farmers to gain confidence and see returns in Farming. Lot of funds have been wasted in many projects in Agriculture which are either poorly designed or disoranted and badly implemented.

We need to create enabling environment for our people by doing the following.

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1) coming up with a clear agriculture funding which is designed to feet each Agriculture sector on each region conditions. It should not be one size fit all approach. The funding should be designed to accommodate all scale of production.

2) Create Market for all farm produced products. We should not find ourselves doing things haphazard like the Covid-19 feeding scheme and call it buying from locals. We need to develop rural areas markets by coming out with processing centers. The first targets market are the primary schools. We must allow the villages to design menus that is in line with their regional products. By doing this young people at village level they would see value in pluaghhing a hactor of beans, a hactor of maize a hactor of surghum to sell in a village processing center than going to town to look for a job. The more they get into farming the village processing centers start to supply towns and our food import bill goes down. If I had funds I would do it alone as its a multi billion pula project. But I can't find funds and I know gorvement have funds.

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3) Shared machinary and Management services. They is no need for young farmers each owning two hactors to have a tractor, planter and all you think. They is no need to give a young farmer 100 hactors and huge loans to struggle with. What is needed is have incubation farmers from a hactor to 10 hactors per farm in on arrea. Then have all machinary and equipment for those farm ready. If a young farmer is interested in farming he be allocated that plot and allowed to build his or her capital by leasing a space. The farming tools, machinery, technical be provided at a central point and the young farmer pays rent from his profits. If he grows up he buys his equipment and find a bigger place. If he fails he go home with no in the matter between.

This are more on disgning models but I also suggest this ideas to look at.

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4) Rain water harvesting. Riverside dams, river bed gabions under ground water tanks, small dams across fields to boost rain water and underground water.

5) Agritourism. To motivate more market from both local tourists and foreign tourists by coordinating and harnessing farming to provide both food, entertainment and haritage knowledge. Our old ways of doing things must be brought back to life as just tourist attractions mesures. Cultural festivals must be coordinated by agriculture as a marketing tool for our foods and products.

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6),Green River banks. All land on perinial, same perennial rivers and dams must be green with both fruits and vegetables. It's possible we are seeing it along Shashe river even though farmers are struggling alone.

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Hon Minister my number is 71707473 its in WattsApp.



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