The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) has praised the agriculture sector’s resilience amid effects of global climate change.
According to CEDA the resilience that the agriculture sector has shown at the height of climate change is clearly indicated by the loan repayments that surpassed the expected collection targets. CEDA Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Thamane, stated that the agency collected P560 million from the sector as opposed to their expected target of P400 million which had been recorded in the previous year.
Thamane implored farmers to come up with new farming methods which could help them attain healthy production particularly in the face of challenging weather conditions. He applauded farmers who defied the odds as was demonstrated by the lack of rains as well as heat waves in the past four persistent drought years.
“The past four years of drought have been difficult years and when that happens your problems end at my table,” said Thamane. He also noted that there is a need for farmers to be active players in the economic landscape.
Thamane said that CEDA had set aside a budget of P365 million for the Southern district, a move he deemed shows commitment towards promoting agriculture in the district. He said that about P200 million from this P365 million was used to fund the agriculture sector. He added that the money spent on agriculture is an indication that when CEDA talks about agriculture they mean business. He went further to state that CEDA contributed close to P3 billion to the economy. He stressed that 70 percent of the P3 billion came from rural communities, dispelling the myth that CEDA only funds businesses in urban areas.
“We want to be your partner and if you have a dream we want to make it a reality,” said Thamane. He also made it known that they recently signed a deal with Botswana Agriculture Marketing Board (BAMB) where they will be financing farmers who have entered into contract with BAMB. He said that once farmers enter into a farming contract with BAMB they automatically qualify for a loan with the agency which is expected to help them meet production targets. Thamane believes that the partnership between CEDA and BAMB will help farmers actualize their dreams without having to struggle to get finance.