Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Ghanzi District SMEs decry lack of market access as hindrance to growth

The Small Micro Enterprises (SMEs) in and around Ghanzi District have attributed their slow uptake of their businesses to access to market as well as to access to finance.

Most of the farming businesses in the area are the beneficiaries of the government Young Farmers Fund, Citizen Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA) and also Local Enterprise Authority (LEA).

Small stock farmer, France Kanguaiko whose business is situated at Okarue cattle post in the Charleshill area said he started with his own finance and part of the finance came from FAP in 1999 at small scale. He stated that he was assisted with 40 goats and 10 sheeps and later in 2007 he ventured into a fully blown business by specialising in the production of stud breed of boar goats and white doper seep.

“Because of the environmental challenges i got discouraged at some point, but through LEA interventions of business coaching and monitoring since 2007, i managed to prosper,” said Kanguaiko.

He further said that his project got funded from National Development Bank (NDB) to a tune of P250 000 to construct kraals, drilling and equipping borehole and fencing 1KM by 1KM paddock. He added that he has been attending exhibitions and also getting entrepreneurship development, business planning, and also trade show readiness.

Another farmer, Karina Bimbo who has production capacity of 141 of small stock has raised concern of lack of market access to high competition in the business. She said she uses auction shows sales to reach out to customers in Ghanzi.

“Land is still a problem in the area and also setting up a borehole is extremely expensive to young farmers. Accessing finance to expand most of our businesses is still a challenge,” said Bimbo.

She pointed out that she started small stock business in 2007 after being funded by the youth grant adding that the business was registered in 2008 through LEA interventions she managed to expand the business. Bimbo said the business was further assisted to access operating space and to access additional loan to drill a borehole at the small holding that she acquired.

“It is important for farmers to get assistance of several interventions to facilitate growth and improve management,” said Bimbo.

Moreetsi Phofedi of Colour Perfect operating Glass Works, who said his main customers are government institutions and individual car owner who he supplies and fit windscreens, glass doors, window panes and mirrors.

“Most of the time government takes jobs from Ghanzi to Gaborone which makes local companies lose business,” said Phofedi.

He pointed out that currently he has five people under his employ and has been operating since 2006, adding that the business is currently trading as Senatebale Glass works.

Meanwhile, government continues to implement the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD). Furthermore, government is concerned by the current status of household debt which currently constitutes 80 percent of the total loans borrowed from banks.

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