Botswana: Government Ready to Improve Agric Sector - Manake

Tonota — Government is doing all it can to ensure that young people play a significant role in improving food security whilst achieving their dreams through programmes such as the Youth Development Funds (YDF) and Young Farmers Funds.

Giving a keynote address during a Youth Agricultural Symposium in Tonota on December 3, the Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Ms Beauty Manake, said the idea was to interact with the youth and brainstorm ideas that would help diversify sustainable agricultural sector.

She said such meetings created a platform to interact with youth in agriculture and experience their impact as well as knowledge sharing including networking of young farmers.

"Aim of the government is to develop the agricultural sector," she said.

Ms Manake further noted that she was amused by the fact that the youth were taking farming as business and revolutionising the agricultural sector, hence creating sustainable employment and improving food security.

Mr Percy Mmeleke, a young farmer who specialises in poultry, said he started a rabbit production project in October 2016 and this year July he started his chicken production project.

He said youth encountered challenges that hindered them from proceeding as young farmers.

"Our main challenge that we face as farmers is poor weather conditions. Excess heat leads to a decrease in our farm produce and perishing of livestock," he said.

He appealed to the agriculture ministry to be hands on and assist them to come up with solutions to the problems that they faces since they were fighting against time to accomplish their dreams.

For her part, Ms Chadha Mikaela said in the agricultural sector, youth were acknowledged as an important human resource for national development.

She said they believed that in preparing the youth for their future, everything was possible and that youth's input was important in carrying on the legacy left by their forefathers in the agricultural sector.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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