Botswana: President Suggests Water Melon Plant

Maunatlala — Residents of the Tswapong area have been urged to produce more water melons because they have potential to bring value to the region.

When addressing a kgotla meeting in Maunatlala on Monday, the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi implored farmers to utilise the improved ISPAAD programme to produce more melons and set up a plant to beneficiate them.

Dr Masisi said a water melon project could create employment, generate income for the region and country, adding that the cluster farming initiative would also compel government to construct roads, connect water and electricity as well as internet to the farms.

When responding to residents' concern about the delay in allocation of plots, the Assistant Minister of Land Management Water and Sanitation Services, Mr Itumeleng Moipisi explained that the delay was caused by logistical processes that needed to be put in place, including Environment Impact Assessments (EIA).

Mr Moipisi said 1 776 applications had been submitted in the Maunatlala-Lerala region, but only 928 plots would be allocated soon.

Regarding the upgrading and expansion of the Maunatlala clinic to have a maternity wing, the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele said his ministry would submit a request for funding in the mid-term review.

He said the project would be a collaboration with the Rothschild Foundation and residents of Maunatlala, adding that negotiations regarding implementation of the project were ongoing.

Meanwhile, Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Mr Nonofho Molefhi, said the intention was to develop and grow the private sector for it to contribute towards job creation, instead of government being the larges employer.

He was responding to residents' request for government to always have places for youth in the civil service.

He urged youth and Batswana in general to come up with business projects that would create employment and have positive impact on the economy of the country.

Mr Molefhi said government was aware of the challenges of unemployment and would work hand in hand with the private sector to handle the situation

He also stated that a data base of unemployed youth and graduates had been setup.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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