Organic Fertilizer Manufacturers Botswana’s (OFMB) industrial plant was officially opened at Mamashia last week amid jubilation as government assured the company of its unwavering support.
The event attended by different stakeholders in the agricultural sector that included Minister of agriculture – Patrick Ralotsia, Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology – Nonofo Molefhi and CEO of Barclays Botswana – Reinette Van der Merwe marked the company’s gradual expansion since its inception in July 2011.
The company primarily utilizes locally produced animal waste products, particularly in the beef and poultry industries, respectively.
Despite the company not being wholly owned by Batswana (joint venture between Zimbabwean and Batswana shareholders) the government has persistently offered it its full support.
This is in line with government objectives that detail a will to reduce its reliance on imports into the country and also to expand Botswana’s agricultural sector. Government support has come in the form of manufacturing tax incentives, startup subsidies and border import controls.
Speaking at the opening of the manufacturing plant, guest of honor – Patrick Ralotsia emphasized the government’s inclination to support such endeavors.
“Let me assure the owners of this company that if they produce reliable, consistent and quality fertilizers, the government will then show support through economic diversification strives. We will buy it.” he said.
Such vigorous support by the government can perhaps, amongst other reasons, explain its meteoric rise as a key player in the agricultural sector since it began operations five years ago. Another key factor in the company’s success is the expertise provided by their Zimbabwean shareholders who have been in the industry for a lengthy number of years.
They are subsequently well versed in matters pertinent to organic fertilizer production as well as having the capabilities to supply agro-chemicals and veterinary products.
It is this expertise that makes OFMB’s fertilizer unique as techniques employed result in highly enriched fertilizer which is said to perform a multitude of tasks that include; increase soil microbial biomass, rebalance soil PH, increase nutrient holding capacity, increase nutrient holding capacity, increase nutrient uptake to plants, prevent nutrient leaching and soil erosion, increase water holding capacity and improve soil and moisture conservation.
These favorable effects are thought to increase yields in a more environmentally friendly manner.