Botswana: Mindset Change Critical to Food Security

Molepolole — Government programmes can help reduce declining food production that threatens the country's food security, Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Mr Karabo Gare, has said.

Addressing a male forum of Molepolole South constituency on Saturday, Mr Gare said unless there was change of mindset towards contributing to improving agricultural sector, the dream of becoming sufficient in food production would not be realised.

He called for stakeholders' collaboration in efforts to improve the agricultural sector, an engine of economic growth currently constrained and reversed by emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Gare expressed worry that though agriculture was seen as the next alternative point of economic growth, a lot still needed to be done through stakeholders' participation.

He briefed the audience on plans to review ISPAAP programmes since government was unhappy with its current performance despite constant funding of about P6 million in annual grant.

He said the agriculture ministry was considering to deviate from the current arrangement where commercial farmers were viewed differently from subsistence farmers.

On another note, Minister Gare decried low supply in dairy production, saying 18 per cent was local production while 82 per cent was imported supply, contributing to the high import bill in the process.

He encouraged the male forum to take advantage of service providers attending the meeting and utilise information on services provided in their respective office.

Area MP and Ministry for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Mr Kabo Morwaeng, called on Molepolole residents to exercise patience since government was exploring means to source funds to undertake the much anticipated P2.6 billon Molepolole water and sewage projects and a police station.

"As we are all aware that the devastating effects of COVID-19 has negatively affected plans to undertake developments not peculiar to Molepolole but across the country," he said.

He briefed the gathering about Minister of Defense, Justice and Security, Mr Kagiso Mmusi's, recent visit to Molepolole to assess conditions at Molepolole police station. "Please bear with us. Government is very much aware and committed to improving welfare of police officers in Molepolole through construction of a modern police station at a 14 hector plot at Thari Ya Banana accompanied by 150 police staff houses".

Mr Morwaeng encouraged Bakwena to honour Kgosi Kgosi Kgari III as a tribe by celebrating his birthdays and that of mohumagadi Mma Tumagole on August 18 and January 4 respectively.

"We are currently working on coming up with plans on how Kgosi Kgari III's birthdays could be made a memorable event signifying respect and love for our own," he stated Farmers at the male gathering decried shortage of land for grazing around Molepolole leading to livestock roaming the village.

Mr Moroki Ntloedibe decried seizing of land for village expansion by Kweneng Land Board without due consideration for the farming community.

Kweneng District Council chairperson, Mr Motlhophi Leo warned residents against selling land arguing that the tendency, which was was rife in the district, was likely to enrich some individuals at the expense plot owners.

Source : BOPA

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