Qabo — President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama has supported the decision by Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) to slash purchase price for grade-one beans from P700 to P450 per 50kg bag.
Addressing a kgotla meeting in Qabo, Ghanzi North constituency yesterday (November 16), President Khama said the P450 was still a good purchase price for a farmer.
He said BAMB ended up selling the 50kg bag at P250 market price.
President Khama said farmers should appreciate government's efforts in taking care of the difference.
This year alone, he said government used P60 million to cover the price deficit.
He said for next year, government would also need P40 million to cover the deficit.
President Khama also said farmers should also appreciate government initiatives such as the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD).
He added that government was ploughing for them and also distributed seeds for free.
The President told residents that there were no immediate plans to tar the road that got into the village because there was minimal traffic using that road.
He explained that government was informed by the volume of traffic on a road in considering whether to tar or not, emphasising however that it was necessary to have the road maintained frequently.
President Khama was responding to Qabo Village Development Committee vice-chairperson, Mr Bojosi Leburu's concerns, which included the reduction of prices for beans and the need for government to consider tarring Qabo-Ghanzi road.
He said government was grappling with backlog of gender affairs project applications because currently there were no funds.
President Khama said to ease the situation, funds from the alcohol levy were used but still they could not eradicate the backlog.
For his part, Member of Parliament for Ghanzi North, Mr Noah Salakae pleaded with the President to consider tarring Qabo road.
Mr Salakae argued that Qabo needed a tarred road because it would motivate people from Ghanzi to move to Qabo especially that there was shortage of land in Ghanzi.
He said people were reluctant to stay at Qabo due to lack of proper infrastructure.