AGRICULTURE SECTOR MEETS WITH THE AFRICAN UNION/NEPAD DELEGATION
14 Mar, 2019
The African Union/NEPAD through the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security requested to meet Business Botswana today (14th March 2019) to discuss progress on the ‘’Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for shared Prosperity and Improved livelihoods’’ which was adopted by the AU heads of State and Government.
Some of the questions raised by the delegation include:
- How BB Agriculture sector is structured?
- What agriculture business opportunities exist in the country?
- What hinders Agriculture business in the country?
- What should Government do to enhance Agriculture business?
Briefing the delegation, Business Botswana Chairperson, Dr Fanikiso Musa stated that the agriculture is sector is divided into five subsectors; poultry, beef, crops, small stock and support services. He further noted that Botswana is a marginal cropping country with low rainfall and hot climate. Therefore investment in irrigation is critical.
Dr Fanikiso hailed the progress made by Government to liberalise the beef industry stating that the Agriculture sector has a potential to create employment and contribute to the economy of Botswana.
Dr Fanikiso highlighted that the sector is still facing stagnant growth due to:
- Poor implementation of directives by Government such as Economic Diversification Drive (EDD)
- Poor implementation and service delivery is a challenge.
- Lack of accountability by government due to the frequent change of senior leadership.
- High competition from state owned enterprises
- Weak consultation with private sector on regulations
Dr Fanikiso proposed the following solutions to the consultants to improve the growth of the sector so it contributes effectively to the economy of Botswana:
- Road Infrastructure needs to be improved to make agricultural land accessible by road.
- Climate change and technology call for investment in irrigation.
- Management of agricultural land should be transferred from the ministry of Lands to the Ministry of Agricultural. With the aim of allocating land to citizens who can invest.
- Government should support local investment and protect it.
- Investment in research is needed.
- Government should focus on providing necessary regulatory, legal, and security environment for the private sector to undertake its functions.