China aims to feed Botswana with Agric TV programmes

  • Main purpose is to provide ways in which television can help develop agriculture
  • First China Africa Agriculture Cooperation and Development Summit held in Gaborone




Botswana and China last week held the first China Africa Agriculture Cooperation and Development Summit, a two-session event that took place at the Botswana Television (Btv) and the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security (MoADFS).


The summit was hosted by Global Media Max Group, based in Botswana, and the China Central Television (CCTV) Agricultural Channel with the aim to explore the possibility of feeding the two entities, Btv and MoADFS, with agricultural television programmes to be aired to the Botswana community.


The delegation from China included television broadcasters, agricultural technologists, agricultural entrepreneurs, investors, investment facilitators and people from the pharmaceutical industry, while Botswana was represented by the top management of both Btv and MoADFS respectively.


In the first session of the summit, which was held at Btv, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Information and Broadcasting) in the Office of the President, Bome Matshaba pointed out that Botswana is an agricultural country and agriculture used to be the second highest income earner for the country but has since fallen down the pecking order because of factors among them, climate change. He noted that government is committed to ensuring that the country is able to feed itself.


Btv, the only government-owned television station in the country, could help in spreading the word about agriculture, but the setback is the shortage of resources and the station is also struggling on sourcing content.


Director of the CCTV Agricultural Channel, Zhao Zekun said their agricultural channel airs information on policies and promote modern agricultural technologies in China and South East Asian countries. He said they want to promote these technologies in African countries, including Botswana.


CCTV is therefore open to assisting Btv and other broadcasters in the country with content, and they would like “to provide more than just technology and information but also the mechanicals.”


Since Botswana is not doing well in agriculture, she will welcome any collaboration to do with agricultural development in the country, according to Mmadima Nyathi, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary (Support Services) in the Agricultural Ministry, when speaking during the second session held at her Ministry’s Head Office.


She highlighted that experts from China have come to Botswana previously and officials from her Ministry have gone for training in China and this has paid dividends.


While welcoming the call for collaboration between CCTV and her Ministry, there was however, a cry from one of the Ministry officials that they do not have their own television station to air the programmes should they be fed with. MoADFS produces agricultural programmes and send them to Btv for airing. A television station of their own, focused specifically on agriculture, would help, according to their views.