Batswana young and old are opening up to available technologies for producing food.
Standing out from the pack is the inventive founder and owner of Sleek foods, Nkata Seleka.
Knowing her way around the kitchen and spurred on by the passion for preparing delectable food for her family, Seleka invented special recipes of sauces, pastes and other relishes that soon appeared on the dining tables of many households in Botswana. This was after she went entrepreneurial with her skills, entering a competitive industry where her competitors had been in the market for longer.
Sleek Foods has a manufacturing plant where the products are produced, packaged and distributed to retail stores such as Spar, Choppies, Shoppers, Sefalana Cash and Carry Wholesale and Pick and Pay around the country. To top it all off, Sleek Foods is the sole distributor of the KFC Botswana Chakalaka which was replacing the famous brand that the Kentucky-style fried chicken outlet had contracted for the job.
Another food processing company, Maungo craft is that of the enterprising trio of Bonolo Monthe, Motseoeme Taunyane and Olayemi Aganga, which produces fruit jams and other gourmet delectable food stuffs with seasonal fruits and vegetables. The brand continues to grow and was recently photographed in the hands of internationally acclaimed home maker and food mogul Martha Stewart. The recognition by the celebrity testifies to the reach of the brand on the international stage.
What is a meal without a refreshing drink to wash it down? A dull one that’s what! Lebogang Mmono realised this and turned a long time local brew into a blooming enterprise through her Just Ginger Beverages outfit. She grew her hobby of making homemade ginger into a small business that has now hit store shelves. Though the name suggests they make just ginger, they also offer other flavours, which are ginger based of course. The lemonade and ice tea options offer a refreshing variety for the discerning client. The Just Ginger Beverages packaging also offer an environmentally friendly benefit in that their branding, logo stickers, paper straws and cups are biodegradable.
Desert, the last dish of any meal, is also catered for when it comes to the local food manufacturing industry. The sweet toothed Sebusamathe Mokgwe is the founder of Dream Creamery – a confectionary company that also doubles as a chocolatier. It specialises in quality handcrafted chocolates and gourmet cakes. Amongst its offerings are innovative and exotic chocolates with a taste of indigenous fruits found in Botswana. It is an award winning business that scooped position 1 in Food Processing category at the 2016 Consumer Fair and prides itself with beautiful designs and exceptional taste.
Another enterprising woman is Letlhabile Lekone, a Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) student studying towards a Degree in Biological and Biotechnological Sciences who aspires to produce food through the hydroponics farming method. Hydroponics is a subset of hydro culture, which is a method of growing plants without soil by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.
Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the nutritious liquid, or the roots may be physically supported by an inert medium such as perlite or gravel. The nutrients used in hydroponic systems can come from an array of different sources, including (but not limited to) from fish excrement, duck manure, or purchased chemical fertilisers. Plants commonly grown hydroponically include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuces, and marijuana.
From the pot to the plate
Getting food for the house has evolved with the advent of technology that has since borne online shopping, an inventive way of shopping without ever leaving the comfort of your house.
Local innovative company My Foodness, an application that allows one to order food from any food outlet or restaurant, offers the online shopping experience for readily prepared food. My Foodness founder Boi Kgathi Rasmussen believes the application will benefit both users – the customer and the service provider – in that the other gets convenience whilst the latter gets to participate in mobile commerce stores with the use of the My Foodness app. This then results in restaurants cutting the exorbitant costs associated with having to procure software development and technical support services. The platform also provides users with the option to pay using credit card, virtual wallet or cash. My Foodness has made partnerships with local businesses and opens up opportunities for other local companies to plug onto their platform and build further services around it.