The Head of Crop Science and Production Department at Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources Professor Utlwang Batlang has said that there is a great need to lure local entrepreneurs into primary agricultural production for Botswana to have sustainable long term food security.
Batlang was speaking at one of the plenary sessions at the just ended Global Expo in the capital Gaborone.
“Agriculture production is a very risky terrain to do business in. It requires the entrepreneur to be very innovative and passionate about what they do. When solving problems in this industry, one needs to take the most direct but least expensive route,” he said.
Batlang said as such, the nation needs to understand what it takes to achieve food security. “There are two factors in the production of food that we need to know; the biophysical environment and the socio economic environment. On the biophysical we are affected by a lot of drought, range lands are degraded, our soils are not so fertile 77 percent of which is desert sand. It is often extremely hot during ploughing season, wildlife normally encroaches into farmlands bringing disease to crops and livestock,”
In May this year, the Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi observed that Botswana was capable of being food sufficient and even exporting agricultural food produce to foreign markets.
Currently, Botswana imports cumulatively across all food commodities well over 50 % of its food consumed daily. Notably a lot more under the fruits fresh produce and diary, milk products with only 6 % of milk consumed locally being produced in Botswana.
The country’s biggest supplier of agricultural produce is South Africa.