The Ministry of Agriculture, in conjunction with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has taken on board the services of the People Innovation and Change in Organisation (PICOTEAM) to roll out an implementation strategy for the Agricultural Services Support Project (ASSP).
“The Agricultural Service Support Project will focus on enhancing the capacity of extension by service providers, and will establish a comprehensive and credible Monitoring and Evaluation and Management Information System to detect any deviations from the planned outputs in any given project or hence enabling decision makers to make the necessary adjustments on time,” said Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Oreeditse Molebatsi, when officiating at a four-day conference.
Botswana’s Program Manager, Geoffrey Livingstone, informed the gathering that IFAD was resuming its collaboration with Botswana following a “16-year hiatus”.
Livingstone further explained that although Botswana is ranked high as one of the least corrupt countries and as one of the most conducive places to invest with an impressive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figure, the reality is that there is still a highly skewered income distribution pattern.
Livingstone also stated that there is still much more to be done towards poverty elimination.
“A successful project has to have a dedicated, insightful management team adequately resourced to fulfil its objectives,” he said.
Dr. Jurgen Hagmann, team leader of PICOTEAM, indicated that their primary mandate was to facilitate the implementation of ASSP through challenging the thinking capacity of those involved in the process. PICOTEAM is a coaching organisation which aims at strengthening capacity in the organisation to roll out implementation of strategies. The set back, however, according to Hagmann, was that the small players in the industries were often left out thus ultimately rendering the process ineffective.
Molebatsi said that the whole project cost a total of $25 million of which $5.6 million is a loan and grant from IFAD and the rest is from the Botswana Government.