Horticulture growers in Maun and its direct surroundings have welcomed the move by the Botswana Horticulture Council (BoHoCo) to establish horticulture market centres. They welcomed the establishment of the market centres, as a lack of access to market has been a major challenge despite investing more resources in production.
The Maun growers learnt that the market centres would be established in Francistown and Lobatse while collection centres would be opened in areas far from the market centres. They commended the council for its continued efforts to improve the horticulture industry, which they said was faced with challenges such shortage of roads infrastructure to the farms and lack of land to produce more vegetables among others. They appealed to the executive committee to fast-track the operation of the market centres because currently they did not have market to sell their produce.
The vice chairman of Ngamiland Horticulture Growers Association, Onkeme Gaepobe concurred with growers that access to market was a challenge in the district. He welcomed the establishment of the market centres saying it would motivate growers to produce more and feed the nation.
He also noted that growers were hopeful that they would benefit from supplying local primary schools through the local authority (council) just like in other districts but that was not the case.
The council, he said opted to use direct procurement instead of the usual tendering process and as the association, they questioned the arrangement as it was disadvantaging others growers.
Gaebope said that efforts were made to engage the relevant authorities to resolve the issue adding that a proposal which included a table of prices had been submitted to the council and currently awaiting response.