Wednesday, May 29, 2024

BAMB calls for efforts to increase agric contribution to GDP

The Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board wants to see efforts being made to reverse the decline of the agricultural sector over the years and make the country self sufficient in food production. Botswana is a net importer of consumables despite millions of Pula spent on subsidies trying to improve farming.

Acting CEO of BAMB, Elvis Ncaagae said the agriculture sector has become more significant today than in the past few years, but is still far from being the biggest contributor to the nation’s GDP because it currently contributes a paltry two percent of the GDP.

“It is our duty to assist Government to change this status. We must aim to be 100 percent self-sufficient,” Ncaagae said when launching Engen Botswana Farmer’s Dream nationwide competition.

“Agriculture is a primary avenue for diversification and economic stimulation and growth.”
He said agriculture, is a topic that evokes a lot of emotions amongst Batswana because of several factors, not least of which is its potential for great success and indeed great wealth. He added that agriculture is part of our culture, our tradition and upbringing.

“It touches on the lives of at least 80 percent of Batswana and has up to 70 percent of the African population depending on it,” he said.

The Farmer’s Dream Competition, first launched in 2013, was the brainchild of Engen Botswana Marketing team, a promotion that would offer genuine value. Managing Director of Engen Botswana, Chimweta Monga said 2013 was a positive year for the BSE listed company, which appreciated its share price, maintained its reputation for uninterrupted fuel supply and added three new retail outlets to its portfolio. He said the brand has always been one of differentiation; from being the only listed oil company in Botswana, to the exclusive offerings it provides for its customers, such as Corner Bakery, and the unique standard of its customer service and ever reliable supply.
“It should come as no surprise, then, that we refused to settle for yet another typical swipe and win car campaign favored by so many other businesses,” he said of the campaign. “Rather, we wanted something truly meaningful, in line with our desire to contribute towards a stronger national economy and to bring us closer to the ideals of Vision 2016. It is at this intersection of a need for relevance and value that Farmer’s Dream was born, in an effort to work towards a prosperous, productive and innovative nation”.

Monga said the socio-economic relevance of a tractor has a markedly sustainable role within the Botswana community, and this lies at the centre of this campaign.

“With up to 80 percent of Botswana’s annual import bill comprising of food products, a great many efforts are being made to help Botswana attain self-sufficiency in food production,” he added.
“We recognize and appreciate, for example, such platforms as Government’s assistance to Batswana through platforms like ISPAAD. We, as a corporate citizen, strive to support this vision of self-sufficiency and food security further, believing it is the firm duty of those within the community who are able to aid in any way to do so”.

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