Batswana have been urged to take advantage of Milk Afric’s Lobatse Dairy project to improve their lives. Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for the start of the construction of the milk project in Lobatse on Friday, former vice president Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the project brings many opportunities for the citizens and the country. Kedikilwe said everyone has to stand and have something towards the project to make sure it sustainable. According to Kedikilwe, the Lobatse Dairy project will help to address shortage of milk in the country as well as contribute to employment creation. “Someone can decide to go into fodder production to feed the dairy cattle to help this project,” he said. He called on the youth of Botswana to have perseverance, vision and determination like Milk Afric CEO Phil Matibe who has fought very hard to see the project through. The commencement of the construction of the dairy project comes after a number of postponements due to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA has however been approved hence the commencement of construction. Lobatse Dairy, which is financed by Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), is expected to be a state-of-the-art-facility, one of a kind in Southern Arica. BDC Managing director Bashi Gaetsaloe said it was very easy for them to fund Lobatse dairy project because it met all the five most required elements. Gaetsaloe said the project has shown a very high sustainability, competitiveness as well as market availability. He said they are also looking for innovation which this project has plenty.
Now that the construction has begun, Gaetsaloe called on all involved to work on implementing all that needs to be. The hard work begins now as we go into implementation which has always been a problem. Let us be able to deliver this project in time and within budget,” said Gaetsaloe as he urged the stakeholders to work hard towards the project. The Lobatse Milk project once operational is expected to produce 30 000 litres of milk a day. The commencement of the construction has brought happiness to the people of Lobatse. Town Mayor, Malebogo Kruger, said this will bring a lot of changes to the town of Lobatse and Botswana as a country. Kruger said though it has been an excruciating process finally everything is coming to reality. The mayor, who could not hide her excitement, said it all started with a signing of a memorandum of agreement between Lobatse Town Council and Milk Afric in 2012. “It has been a very tough journey up to this moment but I am happy that we have finally gone through to the ground breaking,” said Kruger. The Lobatse Dairy Estates’ design has been charged to Shovel Projects. The company has design similar projects in other SADC countries as well as in Sri Lanka. ShoveL Projects Managing Director Cobus Du Plessis promised that the dairy will be the state-of-the-art facility and one of the best in Africa.