Saturday, August 13, 2022

Habano criticizes government’s agriculture, transfer policies

Ngami Member of Parliament, Taolo Habano, has said that Agriculture holds the key to poverty eradication and Botswana’s fight against unemployment.

Habano has suggested that the Agriculture budget be augmented to allow for government to build small dams in different parts of the country to improve irrigation. He said with small dams, farmers could also be able to drill boreholes for their livestock.

He said if the common remote area dweller was given opportunities to venture into Agriculture, there would be a decrease in the number of people flocking to towns in search of jobs.

Making his contribution to Minister Kenneth Matambo’s budget speech, Habano advised government to allocate a significant sum of her budget to Agriculture.

“Poverty eradication should target rural areas,” he said, adding that research shows that the soil in the northern part of the country is good for growing crops. He said that a country wide drive could create jobs and allow Batswana to locally produce food for themselves.

Habano said while over 300 000 have been hit by unemployment, close to half a million had been adversely affected by poverty.

He said on a reflection from the minister’s previous budget presentation, it is clear that government programmes have failed to bring the desired results. He added that unemployment statistics were high while efforts to eradicate poverty with young farmers fund, construction fund and programmes tailor for the youth have also been unsuccessful.

The soft speaking legislator said that Botswana could also diversify the economy by investing in the manufacturing sector.

He said that the hide and cattle hooves could be used locally to produce leather products and glue, respectively, adding that by exporting the raw material to other countries, Botswana was missing out on a noble business venture and thus exporting jobs.

“If only we had programmes that could utilize cattle hides we could create a lot of jobs,” he said
Habano also told parliament that if Botswana was to produce the best human resource, then the Education ministry should consider introducing pre-school Education to nurture children while there are still very young. He said in areas like Ngami, children are not exposed to learning until there are aged 8, pointing out that this was undesirable for a child’s mental development.

The MP also complained that ever since entering the public service, some civil servants had effectively been banished to work in rural areas. He said that such civil servants could not be expected to be dynamic and productive, especially after serving over 15 years in remote areas.
“Please start implementing your transfer policy,” he urged government.

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