The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), the government’s investment arm, said it has made a breakthrough in its endevour to venture into dairy farming after it identified a piece of land in the Central District that will house the multi-million Pula project.
The spokesperson for the corporation, Gomolemo Zimona, told The Telegraph that 600 hectares of land located between┬áDibete┬áand Mahalapye was┬áa government┬áfarm, which was in the past used┬áfor artificial insemination purposes by the Ministry of Agriculture.
“We are still to negotiate on whether to buy or lease the farm from the current owner who is the government and hopes this will be over soon,” Zimona explained.
Land has been the biggest┬áobstacle┬áto BDC’s plans of starting the biggest fresh milk production in the country and have seen them┬ágoing across the country trying to identify land for the project.
He added that the corporation’s plans┬áwere to find such land in a Foot and Mouth┬áDisease (FMD) free zone and this piece of land meets that requirement.
BDC has identified two┬áunnamed dairy farmers that they are going to partner with┬áin the project.
Zimona declined to identify the farmers arguing they are still to sign a partnership agreement. He invited the two farmers, one local and the other South African, into the project after interviewing them to find out their capabilities.
He said they had hoped to find┬álocals but in the end they settled┬áfor one foreigner and one local.
He added that the overall object of the project is to make the country self sufficient in milk and milk by products┬áin the coming years. Their┬áplans are to employ between 100 – 200┬ápeople┬áin the project, hopefully with┬ámost of them being┬áBotswana nationals.
Botswana currently imports around 80 percent of its milk and┬ámilk products,┬ámainly from South Africa. There have, at times, been shortages of the products in the country.