If asked to point to any success story directly linked to its quest to eliminate absolute poverty amongst Batswana, the government will surely not run out of options, atleast up to three counts.
Amongst those regarded as “successful” is a cluster garden farming which currently attracts returns of around P300 000 in a single ploughing season.
The cluster is made up of farmers from from Mahalapye, Molalatau and Tobane and has since employed 23 beneficiaries. Another project, named Kalahari Sand Building Block with 5 of its sites in Maubelo, Kasane and Hukuntsi has employed 78 beneficiaries with a combined return of over P800 000.
Whilst those are not the only successful and ongoing projects, the government says it will continue its effort towards presenting a dignified life through social protection and empowerment by hosting National Poverty Eradication expositions.
The aim, the government says is to upscale lives of poor Batswana through sustainable entrepreneurship.
This year’s event held in the capital Gaborone showcased different products from different beneficiaries of the Poverty Eradication Programme across different districts across the country. A variety of products such as foods products, soap and cleaning detergents and leather tanning to name a few.
Vice President Slumber Tsogwane told the attendants at the exposition that since inception, the Poverty Eradication Programme under office of the president funded over 39 098 projects. Of these, 29 877 are operational and have provided employment to 33, 918 people. About 5 673 projects are said to be at different stages of implementation and expected to equally add to the number of operational projects.
“It is worth mentioning that some of these projects have now matured to a point where they can be called classified successful businesses to grow further and create employment for our fellow citizens. I expect therefore that the retail sector should support these producers as they have indeed supported other local producers by providing shelf space in their establishment or buying the products from beneficiaries for resale in their establishments”, said Tsogwane.
Tsogwane made it clear that for all Empowerment Programmes, the message is clear that the government need to focus more on implementing projects that can employ a lot more people. He said group projects have generally shown a higher success and sustainability than individual projects, thus have a much higher potential sustained employment opportunities.