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Opportunities in Botswana’s Agricultural Sector

by Diplomatist Bureau - 31 August, 2021, 12:00 205 Views 0 Comment

Government’s support to the Sector as shown by His Excellency the President Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi’s presence at the recent groundbreaking ceremony of the Selebi Phikwe Citrus Project

Botswana’s main attraction as an investment destination for the Agriculture industry is hinged on the country’s supportive policy environment for the sector value-chains; with among others quantity restrictions to stimulate local production, tax incentives for select areas as well as VAT exemption on agricultural implements.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of most countries’ food security and supply, thereby presenting an urgent need for import substitution of basic agricultural products. Hence new and more sophisticated ways of facilitating agricultural production need to be explored, and Botswana as a country is very much willing to facilitate partnerships in strategic areas to help grow the sector for sustainable food security and growth.

On the whole, Botswana remains a net food importing country with opportunities to boost the production of basic commodities, as shown in the table below;

Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Botswana

These ongoing ‘needs’ – which on the flipside present opportunities – can be summarized as follows;

Use of ICT

  • The pandemic has re-emphasized the need to take advantage and leverage ICT to do business in agriculture.
  • Technologies such as marketing platforms, precision farming and the use of drones in agriculture will enhance agricultural production efficiency.

Horticulture

  • Local production currently satisfies 54 percent of the national demand for horticulture products, with the remaining available through imports.
  • The annual import bill currently stands at USD63 million, thereby presenting opportunities for primary production as well as seeding production projects in strategic areas across the country.
  • Development of agro-processing plants by the private sector around horticultural areas to reduce post-harvest losses.

Grain Storages

  • There is a need for the establishment of strategic grain storage facilities across the country to reduce post-harvest losses.  The project should be private sector-led.
  • Need to facilitate the development of the local private seed production sector to substitute for the 27 000 tons annual seed imports valued at P109 million.
  • Need to facilitate the establishment of fodder production projects in strategic areas across the country.

Fruit Tree Production

  • The production of fruit trees, mainly citrus are estimated to be around 17 percent of the local demand. Citrus trees are performing very well under the Botswana climatic conditions, and they mature earlier than in some countries in the region, which presents a potential for satisfying the local market and later exporting these products.

 Aquaculture (Fish Production)

  • The aquaculture industry is still at an infancy stage, and it is only able to produce 3 percent of what is demanded locally (production is 100 tons against the demand of 3 000 tons)
  • Establishing fish collection centres and logistics (cold storage facilities and transport).

Dairy Production

  • The dairy sub-sector in Botswana is still at an infancy stage, with the annual local milk production accounting for only 15 percent of the national demand
  • The dairy herd has also not grown significantly to contribute to the growth of the subsector (embryo transfer technology opportunity)
  • As a result, imports of dairy cows, milk and dairy products have remained high, thereby presenting an opportunity for embryo transfer technology and dairy collection points transport logistics.

Poultry Production

  • The chicken industry also continues to experience high volumes of imports of processed chicken meat valued at USD3 million annually. This presents an opportunity for the establishment of processing plants across the country to facilitate the import substitution process, as well as the establishment of hatchery for broilers and pullets. Feeds manufacturing is also an area for consideration.

Small Stock

  • Botswana as a new entrant into export of mutton, lamb and chevon targeting the Asian market.
  • Export potential exists for the European Market, where Botswana can leverage on existing market access trade agreements with Europe, these being the SADC –EU Economic Partnership Agreement and the SACU–EFTA (European Free Trade Agreement)

 Ostrich Farming

  • Remains unexploited and has a high potential
  • There is the existence of an EU certified export abattoir

For more inquiries on doing business or investment in Botswana, please contact:

Telephone: +01146537000

Email: botind@gov.bw

Mr. Moabi Phia, Commercial Attaché, phiam@bitcin.co.in

Ms. Chenesani Asa, Political & Economic, ckobokobo@gov.bw

Ms. Tshepang T. Sethantsho, Political & Economic, tsethantsho@gov.bw 

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