Dinokeng potential economic zone
13 Mar 2023
The success of the inaugural Oliphant’s Drift Fish Festival presents Mochudi East constituency as a potential economic zone and attractive destination for tourism and investment.
This was revealed by Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mr Mabuse Pule at a fish festival Saturday, organised to raise awareness on the fishing community registered in various government programs and increase in the success rate of fish related businesses in the area.
Mr Pule who is also area MP for “Dinokeng” as the area is fondly known, said the strategically placed river villages availed any investor the opportunity to thrive. “I’m encouraged to note that the President’s Reset and Reclaim Agenda priorities of mindset change and value chain development have found their footing in our area.
“It is our fervent hope that this inaugural fish festival will enable Mochudi East to not only become a viable fisheries market centre, but also a major contributor to Botswana’s aquaculture and aqua-tourism sectors,” he said.
He said a year ago in one of his consultative engagements he appealed to Oliphant’s Drift community to come up with a fish festival to explore possibilities of value chains around fisheries in an effort to deepen, expand and accelerate economic development in river villages.
Mr Pule said he was happy to note that the community had demonstrated commitment to the great initiative. “Your presence here is a clear testimony of your unwavering commitment to support this local economic development initiative which will greatly contribute to the growth of aquaculture and aqua-tourism sectors,” he added.
He said government was committed to providing enabling environment for the private sector to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
He said the fish festival would contribute to the success and sustainability of economic growth through poverty eradication, employment creation and investment inflow considering the value and supply chains associated with fisheries.
Mr Pule said there was urgent need for infrastructural development as it determined the size and
destination of any investment inflows.
Deputy permanent secretary for aquaculture and inland fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture Mr Ghulam Kibria said government considered the development of the sub-sector as one of the key priorities. “Government also foresees the critical role of inland fisheries and aquaculture in enhancing food and nutrition security, eradicating poverty, generating employment and income, improving rural livelihoods and increasing investment,” he said.
He said local fish production stood at 550 tons per annum against a national annual fish demand of 5 000tons which resulted in fish deficit of about 4500 tons which was met through imports.
He said government was keen on developing relevant strategies that would promote the development of the subsector through the National Aquaculture Strategy and Action Plan (2021-2026 which was being implemented.
He said Botswana and Malawi would have cooperation on aquaculture development and inland fisheries management with the MoU final for signing. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Baleseng Batlotleng
Location : OLIPHANTS DRIFT
Event : `FISH FESTIVAL
Date : 13 Mar 2023