Botswana: Fruit Trees Way to Go - Manager

Rasesa — Batswana have been encouraged to plant fruit trees as a way of countering the ever changing climate and scarce rainfall.

Speaking in an interview at the Matsieng pop-up farm market in Rasesa in the Kgatleng District, Ms Rebabonye Calahorra, founder and manager of Tnuva Nursery said government should also play a meaningful role in encouraging citizens to plant trees.

"Projects that are undertaken by citizens for self-sustenance through government should include trees because trees are forever once planted and cared for," she said, adding that there were many trees that could survive with little water.

Being her first time attending the pop-up farm market as an exhibitor, Ms Calahorra said she was glad to be part of it because it afforded her an opportunity to promote, educate and share information on trees.

"Most Batswana do know about trees and what they need is to be guided on which trees to plant for which environment and the care involved with trees," she said.

Speaking about her business, Ms Calahorra said she started it five years ago through self-funding.

"The department of forestry in Molepolole used to help me," she said. She employed six people and hoped to grow her business throughout Botswana and even beyond the borders.

"I also have indigenous trees that bear fruits among many others," she said.

Another exhibitor, Mr Tshwarelo Senthufhe, director of Keith Rabbit Empire, said he reared rabbits and sold them either live or as ready to cook packaged meat.

He observed that the consumption and breeding of rabbits in Botswana was growing tremendously as more people were venturing into the business.

"I have a lady that I am mentoring and I am very happy to be helping her because my dream is to see the rabbit business taking over," he said, adding that rabbit meat is very tasty and nutritious.

Mr Senthufhe said unlike other meats, rabbits are not prone to diseases, which meant that the meat was hardly tainted with injections and vaccines.

Event organizer Ms Nteba Sentsho said a lot still needed to be done in educating Batswana about the Matsieng pop-up farm market and what they were aiming for.

Held under the theme fostering sustainable urban/rural linkages through local food supply, Ms Sentsho said the farm market was beneficial to farmers as it strengthened their voice and marketed their products.

Ms Sentsho said the pop up farm market attracted a vast range of exhibitions including crop production, stock production, agro-processing, soil science, animal health, crafts, food and drinks, semi processed products.

She further said the event aimed to raise awareness by creating a platform to connect producers with consumers and foster learning and knowledge across the country.

This year's pop up farm market was the third after two successful pop out markets which were held in March and September 2018.

Ms Sentsho said the first event had 31 exhibitors and over 500 attendees graced the event and this time around there were 35 exhibitors.

Source : BOPA

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