Gaborone — The aim of the Southern African Development Cooperation (SADC) Regional Agricultural Policy Investment Plan (2017-2022) project launched in Gaborone November 12 is to promote collaborative actions at regional level, says Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security permanent secretary Mr Jimmy Opelo.
Speaking at a two-day national stakeholders sensitisation workshop, Mr Opelo said the project also complemented national actions that stimulated competitive production and agriculture-based products trade whilst ensuring sustainable utilisation of natural resources and effective protection of the environment.
Funded by the 11th European Development Fund Regional Indicative Programme, he said the project was anchored on enhancing information on agricultural production, sustainability and competitiveness for evidence-based decision making.
Mr Opelo said another objective sought to improve access to markets through implementation of plant and animal pest and disease control strategies at the regional level.
He said the two components were expected in the medium to long term, to create sustainable agricultural growth and socioeconomic development due to enhanced production, productivity and competitiveness among others.
Mr Opelo further said the project sought to implement an effective agricultural information management system to provide policy makers, planners and economic players with access to reliable and timely information necessary for policy development, emergency preparedness and planning.
For his part, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation representative in Botswana, Dr Rene Czudek said the project aimed at improving regional and international trade as well as access to markets for agricultural products.
He said it was also meant to enhance sustainable agricultural production, productivity and competitiveness.
Source : BOPA