Having banned the importation of 17 selected vegetables at the start of the year, the Botswana government is determined to give local farmers every chance of thriving. The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has introduced a new program, ‘the Impact Accelerator Subsidy’ to help farmers increase horticulture production. The government has already set aside P50 million for the program, with the amount set to increase due to high demand.
According to MOA Chief Public Relations Officer (PRO), Moreri Moesi, they have noticed an increase in the number of farmers showing interest in horticultural production since the veggie ban was introduced. Although there is still a long way to go, the total production of restricted crops has increased since the ban was enforced.
After some supply challenges, the crops now range between 50 and 70 percent in terms of production against demand. When the ban was imposed, potatoes, onion and ginger were standing at 74.9, 55.6 and 0.1 percent respectively while tomatoes stood at 51.2 percent. Seven months later, the total tonnage production stands at 4, 903 tons for potatoes, an 8.5 percent increase.
[ P1 = € 0.079 ]