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Get with the times
URGING CHANGE: Khumomatlhare

KHUMOMATLHARE URGES FARMERS TO EMBRACE MODERN METHODS

The Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Boipolelo Khumomatlhare has urged the country’s farmers to modernise their methods.

Khumomatlhare identified local farmers apparent reluctance to employ modern farming techniques as a hindrance to food production in Botswana.

Pointing out that contemporary farming methods have been proven to increase productivity and profitability, he said, “The use of modern equipment could make harvests more efficient and help to move farm produce to the market more quickly.”

Speaking at the final draw of Sefalana’s ‘Win a Tractor’ promotion recently, where ten individuals each won a 290 Massey Ferguson tractor worth close to P250, 000, Khumomatlhare advised attendants, especially the winners, that modern agricultural inputs, such as seeds, agrochemicals and fertilizers, can also reduce losses.

He commended Sefalana Trading for awarding tractors equipped with ploughs to Batswana, who he hopes will employ the technology in their farms to ensure good soil preparation for greater harvest.

Khumomatlhare noted that Aspiration No. 1 of Agenda 2063 states that ‘Africa’s agriculture will be modern and productive, using science, technology, innovation and indigenous knowledge’.

“The hand hoe will be banished by 2015 and the sector will be modern, profitable and attractive to the continent’s youth and women,” he quoted, adding the aspiration is in line with Botswana’s Vision 2036 Pillar on Agriculture, which states that Botswana will have a sustainable, technology-driven and commercially viable agricultural sector.

Hinting that the country could not reach a state of food security without the help of the private sector, the Permanent Secretary said the Government alone cannot meet the demands of the citizens.

However, he highlighted Government initiatives, such as the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD), Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID) and the Poverty Eradication Programme (PEP), as proof that the current administration are committed towards becoming a food secure nation.

Speaking at the event, Sefalana Group Managing Director, Chandra Chauhan urged the ten tractor winners to use them to their full potential – an action, which he predicted would eventually help the country become food secure.

He promised the winners that Sefalana would help them in their agricultural pursuits by buying their produce.

“We want to help make Botswana a food self-sufficient nation,” he pledged.