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Agro products promotes food security

20 Nov 2023

The processing of agricultural produce will promote value chain development, create jobs and boost food security.

Speaking during an exhibition of agro products organised by Farmers Clan under the theme: “Economic Diversification and Job Creation Through Agriculture and Natural Resources Value Addition”, in Kanye on November 18, the founder of Steve’NLesedi farm villies, Mr Steven Baatshwana, said agro processing had the potential to improve the livelihood of Batswana.

Mr Baatshwana said value chains and integration of agricultural products was paramount for job creation and businesses sustainability. It covered procurement, marketing, production and many others.

"This means different services and products could be derived from one produce,” he said.

He gave the example of morula peels, which could be used to make fertilizer, flavour, fruit juice and beer.

Mr Baatshwana urged fellow farmers to dream and to pursue them, saying no dream was small.

“You have to be persistent and take risks. In business if you do not take risks,” he said. “You might fail.”

When processing food, he said, farmers should understand the variable factors that affected the industry such as environmental change. 

He urged them to use technology as it was vital in value chains and could cut costs.

He highlighted that looking after the environment and taking into consideration compliance issues and social capital were important in creating sustainable businesses.

The founder of Farmers Clan, Mr Omphemetse Mogorosi, said the idea behind the event was to impart knowledge to attendees on adding value to their produce.

Mr Mogorosi said adding value to agro products minimised losses that farmers could endure such as produce perishing on farms, noting that it could be turned into different products such as archer and jam with increased shelf life.

He said they wanted Batswana to venture into agriculture that was profitable and contributed to the economy.

Mr Peter Badenhorst, a director at Ramogomana, urged farmers to work together to ensure their farming endeavours became successful.

Mr Badenhorst said for partnerships and benchmarking to be successful, farmers should have quality, value and consistency, saying no one could win working alone.

He advised farmers to embrace agro processing as it had the potential to create jobs.

“Your brand should be unique, attractive and show that it was proudly Botswana produced," he said, adding that products such as tomato paste, jam, juice and archer could be produced locally.

Training on processing various products was also conducted during the exhibition and  the production of supplementary blocks for livestock and different processed products. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Modiakgotla

Location : KANYE

Event : exhibition of agro products

Date : 20 Nov 2023