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$938K project to bring locally grown bananas & mangoes to Botswana

Ngamiland, Botswana may soon have plenty of locally grown bananas and mangoes courtesy of a joint partnership between a local farmer, Lesika Molefhi and South African investor, Johann Bezuidenhout.

The P10 million (USD $938,732) irrigation project in Nxaraga will boost food production in Botswana by providing fruit trees. The partners also want to spread further into agro-tourism by providing accommodation and promoting farm visitation due to abundant tourism potential in Nxaraga.

The enterprising project, which is the only one of its kind in Ngamiland, is situated in Nxaraga about 20 kilometres from Maun. Bezuidenhout explained that their main challenge is that there are no markets for their produce, adding that they also rely on diesel-generated electricity due to no power supplies in the area.

Molefhi on the other hand, explained that before he partnered with Bezuidenhout he was a mere small time farmer who relied on draught power. He said from the partnership, he is now part of a big project using modern machinery that he would not individually afford. 

He said after the project is fully operational, they will hire more than 300 people. Molefhi called on Botswana not to be afraid to lease their land to investors provided there is a legal agreement.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Patrick Ralotsia briefly toured the project on Thursday before declaring to journalists that he was impressed with what he saw. Ralotsia reiterated that the project is a clear example that foreign investment in Agriculture is needed as it brings in employment, new technology and production methods, which boost food production in Botswana. 


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