Saturday, January 22, 2022

LEA- Milk Afric collaboration to boost Botswana’s dairy promotion

The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Milk Afric, a collaboration that has been described as marking the beginning of a new era in the dairy industry.
There has been severe lack of skills and technical knowledge about this industry hence through this collaboration LEA is confident that they will be able to promote, empower and equip focused driven entrepreneurs who are eager to adopt technologies and expertise in starting viable dairy production enterprises.
LEA has had a sub-sector strategy for the last three financial years; a strategy in which have been focusing on laying the foundation and developing four specific sub-sectors of the agriculture sector, namely horticulture, piggery, leather and dairy. Of all the four sub-sectors, Dairy has proven to be the most challenging.
“Although Dairy was identified as an area with immense potential, Batswana have failed to take up these opportunities due to lack of skills and knowledge of dairy farming, and the start-up expense of the business,” said Tebogo Matome the Chief Executive Officer at LEA.
Matome said he could not accentuate enough, how significant the MOU could be to the growth of the dairy industry in Botswana.
“It is a very exciting time as we see the beginning of a fruitful relationship with Milk Afric which we know kick starts the growth of profitable and sustainable businesses within the dairy industry and its value chain,” said Matome.
He said he is confident that after piloting the Lobatse Milk Afric project, there will be sufficient national confidence to develop the Leupane Cluster Project. The Leupane Dairy project is a project conceptualised by LEA as a vehicle for SMMEs to utilize the 2800 hectares of Leupane ranch, for commercial dairy production ultimately diversifying the economy.
Botswana’s milk products import bill has increased significantly over the years, from P285 million in 2006 to P423 million in 2010, due to the low levels of milk and milk products production. Hence the Leupane dairy project is anticipated to assist the country in reducing this bill and to ensure that Botswana becomes self-sufficient in this area.
A report from the Ministry of Agriculture in 2012 revealed that Botswana consumes 61 million litres of milk per year and was able to produce an estimate of 3.1 million litres of milk per year; this is a decline from about 8 million litres per year reported in 2010.
“It is hoped that through this MOU knowledge transfer and technical expertise for the targeted farmers will help to change this bleak picture,” said Matome.
MilkAfric CEO, Phil Mapibe thanked LEA for the gesture and said that they are more than humbled to be entering this partnership with them. “Even though Botswana is a dry country, we will defy the odds to address the milk shortage problem,” said Mapibe.
Milk shortage in Botswana is a serious challenge as there are only 5000 lactating cows out of the 15000 milking cows needed to meet the 61million litres of milk in demand annually in Botswana.

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