Botswana: Fertiliser Manufacturers Seek Govt Support

Gaborone — The Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, has urged the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security (MoA), to recognise Organic Fertiliser Manufacturers Botswana (OFMB)'s input and assist it to commercialise and boost its production for sustenance and improved employment opportunities.

Ms Peggy Serame, who was speaking during a tour OFMB at Mmamashia, noted that the company had invested about P41 million in the production of organic fertilisers from compost cattle manure, gypsum and carbon.

Ms Serame observed that the company had an array of opportunities in its value chain that Batswana could tap into and urged the media to aid the company to market its produce.

OFMB Managing Director, Mr Michael Hallam said the company, which was established in 2011, had managed to establish global recognition through being certified by Ecocert for quality management.

Mr Hallam said they produce 30 000 tonnes of organic fetilisers and 70 000 tonnes on the blending side annually, making it a total capacity of 100 000 tonnes.

He indicated that presently, the company was operating at 1-4 per cent of operational capacity due to some challenges.

He revealed that the company was also struggling to get its products into the market because of tough competition from outside the country.

Mr Hallam said the company was unable to give its distributors credit terms because of limitations posed by business challenges and low operational capacity.

"... So we really want some support from the government, somehow to protect our local industry," he said.

Mr Hallam said they had formed a Fertiliser Association in Botswana, comprising of seven members spread-out in Tuli-Block, Francistown, Lobatse and Gaborone.

He said the companies produced diverse products and with combined capacity, they could meet the entire nation's fertiliser needs.

He said currently, the company exported to Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Source : BOPA

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