Botswana plans agricultural policy


PALAPYE A policy that would provide for the installation of agricultural infrastructure is in the offing.

A draft cabinet memorandum has circulated among government ministries and is back at the Ministry of Agriculture to inco-operate comments from other government ministries before presentation to cabinet.

Edmond Moabi, the co-ordinator of the National Master Plan for arable Agriculture and Dairy Development (NAMPAAD), told BOPA recently that a recommendation that led to the creation NAMPAAD also called for the provision of infrastructure for agriculture to prosper.

Agricultural production continue to under-perform because of lack of proper infrastructure, poor access roads, electricity, telephones and water and as such people find it difficult to invest in agriculture, he said.

Moabi said once government agrees to the draft, the modalities of how such infrastructure would be provided would be put in place to encourage more people to invest and treat agriculture as a viable business venture.

The envisaged policy would enhance the performance of the agriculture sector such that Botswanas commercial farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs can compete with their counterparts throughout the world.

He said provision of agricultural infrastructure at production or farming areas would help to increase agricultural output and productivity as well as employment opportunities because more farmers will be attracted to agrarian ventures.

Moabi said the challenge facing investment in agriculture have been lack of facilities such as water and electricity, which are part of the basic human needs.

The absence of access roads to transport goods to market on time and in good conditions has also been an impediment.

A consultancy was commissioned in October 2003 to investigate the possibility of providing agricultural infrastructure in farming areas submitted its report to the Ministry of Agriculture in December 2004.

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