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Botswana: Tomato incubator to boost productionAccording to a press release from the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), during the first cycle under the revised incubation programme model, Glen Valley will produce about 300 tonnes of tomatoes per month, which constitute 2.5 percent of the total national demand.
The production comes after LEA instituted a re-modeling exercise at the Glen Valley Incubator that is meant to optimise efficiency and develop entrepreneurs who would set up sustainable enterprises that will generate employment for Botswana while at the same time contributing to an increased local output in the horticultural sub-sector.
The aim of the restructuring is to increase the number of beneficiaries over a period of time, improve technology transfer and adoption and empower potential entrepreneurs prior to acquiring financial assistance.
“The tomatoes are produced under a protected environment being the net houses tunnels and greenhouses which assures highest quality and consistency in the supply to the market is guaranteed,” stated LEA.
The incubator currently has 14 entrepreneurs who are responsible for the current production. The entrepreneurs are undergoing training that has now been reduced to a nine-month period open cropping cycle.
The incubation programme is open to both aspiring and existing horticulture entrepreneurs, who wish to start or expand their enterprises through the use of modern technologies and best industry practices. The market currently needs about 12, 000 tonnes of tomatoes production every month with Botswana importing most of its tomatoes from the neighbouring South Africa.
Botswana’s demand for fruits and vegetables is 75, 000 tonnes per month, while the country’s domestic production is only 40 percent of the figure; therefore the country imports about 45, 000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to meet the demand.
Publication date: 4/28/2015
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