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Drought Relief Assistance Continues Until June 2017 In Botswana

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Monday, December 12th, 2016
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 Government will be continuing with Drought Relief and special assistance measures until June 30, 2017.

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President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama said when delivering the State-of-the-Nation Address on Monday (December 5), during the third session of the eleventh Parliament that this was in view of the fact that crop production was affected by periods of extended heat waves and low moisture levels.

He said this contributed to national cereal production of 54 374.20 Metric tonnes, which is 18.1 per cent of the National Cereal requirement of 300 000 Metric Tonnes for 2015/16.

President Khama, however, noted that the 25 per cent livestock subsidy will terminate at the end of this month, December 2016.

He further said in response to changing climatic conditions, government was promoting climate smart agriculture technologies such as conservation agriculture.

“Government is also strengthening its efforts to exploit sewage water for irrigation such as at Glen Valley where 203ha have been allocated to 47 farmers. The Serowe grey water re-use project is also progressing well and should be completed by the end of this month,” he said.

President Khama further noted that over the past year the agricultural sector implemented Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) packages to improve access roads to production centres, use of treated sewage water for irrigation, electricity connection to production clusters, improvement of infrastructure at horticulture production areas and commissioning of a national agro-processing plant, the initiatives that contributed to food security and employment creation.

He said the agro-processing plant in Selebi-Phikwe has been completed and since September 2016 was able to produce vegetables and associated commercial products for wholesale and retail suppliers.

With regards to Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), he said BMC has also grown its export to Europe from about 6 000 tons in 2013 to just over 9 000 tons in 2015 and hopes to further increase exports in 2016 to over 10 000 tons.

He said BMC has also increased its revenue from 2013 through 2015 by about 20.4 per cent

He said the dairy industry has improved as a response to the implementation of the dairy development strategy, based on increasing the number of milking cows, availing land to dairy investors and improving milk marketing through EDD.

The national demand for milk is 60 million litres and currently production stands at 4.9 million litres compared to 3.4 million litres produced last year, which represents 8.1 per cent of the national demand.

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