ARCHIVE

 Trending News
  • Tlou Energy equity placement to raise P19 million Launches a non-renounceable entitlement offer for a further P44 million   OAITSE MATHALA   Tlou Energy Limited, a Botswana Stock Exchange listed company focused on delivering power in Botswana and...
  • BDP rakes in over P5 million in 2 days THABO BAGWASI The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has raked in over P5 million and new members in one fell swoop in a single weekend. BDP top czars made a multi-million...
  • Botlogetswe jets off to Europe Christine Botlogetswe today (Tuesday) departed for Holland in her quest to compete at a number of races in Europe. As reported by this publication late last month, Botlogetswe continues to...
  • HR to lead the wave of change – SHRC 2018 organisers OAITSE MATHALA   Human Resource (HR) has the opportunity to lead the change into a new world of work, this is according to the Progressive Institute, organisers of the Strategic...
  • Toropo Ya Muka 4.0 targets 10 000 revellers TEBOGO MMOLAWA Organizers of Toropo Ya Muka 4.0 music festival say this year they expect 10 000 attendants at the annual music festival which will be held on May 26 at...

Botswana is afoul of Malabo Declaration on agriculture

Botswana is afoul of Malabo Declaration on agriculture
March 07
09:54 2018

… but stinting agriculture means less food production and burgeoning food import bill

TSHIAMO TABANE

The Botswana Government has been criticised for contravening a United Nations (UN) declaration that calls on member states to allocate around 10% of their national budgets to the agricultural sector.

It has emerged from the latest budget that the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security has been allocated P1.34 billion, which is 3% of the national budget and contrary to the UN Malabo Declaration that was initiated in Maputo.

In an interview with Global Business this week, local agriculture analysts and development specialists warned that government’s decision to stint agriculture would continue to hamper contribution of the sector to the country’s GDP and restrict Botswana’s economic growth.

Recent figures from Statistics Botswana show that for the past 10 years, the contribution of the agriculture sector to the GDP has been stuck between 1.8% and 2.1%.

According to analyst Pear Ranna the low budget allocated to the agriculture sector means famers will continue to receive limited financial support and produce less food. “Because of the low funding of the sector, the high imports of fresh produce by local retailers will continue,” Ranna told Global Business. “This is of great concern because it shows that the government is lagging behind in terms of supporting local farmers.”

She stated that due the low funding, development programmes under the Ministry of Agriculture will be underfunded. “We have programmes under the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security such as the Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID) and the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD) which in some regions of Botswana always face challenges of funding,” Ranna continued.

Another agricultural analyst and development specialist, Michael Diteko, noted that all sub-sectors of agriculture were not growing because of the government’s decision not to comply with the Malabo Declaration. “All agricultural sectors have suffered, except poultry,” Diteko said. “Sub-sectors such as horticulture, livestock, dairy and grains are all stagnant, if not in regression. They require more funding in order to grow.”

There was a need to embrace new technology, which requires extra funding. “Countries like Ethiopia, for example, have invested in green houses that are being rented out to farmers to increase agricultural production,” he said. “We have to move away from rain-fed to irrigation in our crop production. This means funding for infrastructure in the form of irrigation equipment and dams.”

About Author

STAFF REPORTER

STAFF REPORTER

Related Articles

Categories

VIDEO CHANNEL

FACEBOOK