Food shortage looms
Botswana is set to experience a serious food shortage as a result of the severe drought that saw low rainfall in the 2018\19 ploughing season, subsequently putting the country’s food security under serious threat; Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) CEO, Leornard Morakaladi has warned.
When briefing the media in Gaborone on Tuesday morning Morakaladi said currently the stock levels of grains held by BAMB from the previous 2017\18 ploughing season produce will only sustain the country up to July 2019.
He said the stock level comprise of 48 000 metric tonnes sorghum, 1,500 metric tonnes of white maize and 2 000 metric tonnes of pulses contained the Strategic Grain Reserve, adding that this might be worrisome as the SGR maximum stock level should be 70 000 metric tonnes, comprising 30, 000mt of sorghum, 30,000mt of maize and 1 000mt of cowpeas grain respectively.
“At the moment of the total grain in the SGR is 30, 000 tonnes sorghum, 2 000 tonnes pulses while maize stands at zero for the SGR stock holding. Maize’s position in the SGR is not satisfactory at all and therefore needs to be replenished at all cost to full capacity of 30 00 tonnes or at least at minimum levels of 10 00 tonnes,” said Morakaladi.
He added that the farmers were faced by a myriad of challenges in this year’s ploughing period paramount among them being drought that hit hard almost in the entire 2018 year.
Head of Finance at BAMB Tobile Lamo revealed that P120 million was splashed on grain purchasing in the 2018 harvest season; with the whole amount spent on buying from the local farmers.