Panafrican News Agency

Botswana to improve food security

Gaborone, Botswana (PANA) - The Botswana Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security is working on the country’s development strategies to improve food security.


Fedelis Molao, the newly-appointed Minster of Agricultural Development and Food Security, says Botswana is still experiencing a high import bill as a result of deficits in most of the country’s food commodities.


On 14 May, 2019, in the capital city of Gaborone, he said the situation makes Botswana vulnerable to food security especially under the current challenges of climate change which further exacerbates the food production environment.


The minister was speaking at a three-day stakeholder consultative workshop on developing the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAAP) on Malabo Declaration and Targets.


The Malabo Declaration (2014) emphasises the need for inter-sectoral cooperation and coordination. It also called for the development of the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIPs) which includes greater participation of the private sector, research and development institutions, farmers and non-governmental organisation as key to agricultural transformation.


Minster of Agricultural Development and Food Security said the workshop is a continuation of the country’s commitment to Malabo declaration under the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAAP).


“The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAAP) represents the African continent’s roadmap for agricultural development. It advocates for greater participation and inclusiveness in terms of players in planning for agricultural development.  Botswana has long standing and strong tradition in development planning as evidenced by its successive National Development Plans (NDPs) which are done every six years. The NDPX1 is currently being implemented and annual allocation of budget is given to allow the sector to implement its development and recurrent projects,” says Minister Fedelis Molao.


However, he said despite all the efforts that the government has put into the country’s sector development, the results have not been impressive because of the high importation bill. He said the situation is not unique to Botswana.


“It is occurring in other countries in the Southern region and indeed the African continent as a whole is challenged when it comes to food security.  It is a result of concerns around these issues that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) have come up with policies, strategies and agreements which are aimed at building synergies to improve food security,” says Fedelis Molao.


The minister said the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP) and the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) which relates to food agriculture and natural resources has come up with strategic intervention areas that would significantly improve sector performance if successfully carried out.


The RISDP strategic intervention areas are said to be in alignment with the four pillars of CAADP. The areas include extension the area under sustainable land management and reliable water control systems.

Improvement of rural infrastructure and the trade related capacities for market access, increasing food supply, reducing hunger, improving responses to food emergency crisis and improving agricultural research , technology dissemination and adoption are other RISDP strategic interventions areas.


He urged the gathering to comply with the regional, continental commitments and agreements on enhancing agricultural development.


“The Maputo Agreement (2003) calls for the allocation of at least 10 percent of the national budget to the agricultural sector and has put a target of 6 percent agricultural growth. It is subsequent with Malabo Agreement (2014),” says Fedelis Molao, Botswana’s newly appointed Minster of Agricultural Development and Food Security.

-0- PANA MS/VAO 14May2019