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50 Years of Agriculture

in Botswana

Supplement to the Botswana Gazette


Because we know your land feeds thousands, we’ll be there

Barclays Bank commits to agriculture sector in tough times


griculture is a fundamental part of Botswana’s economic history. People have and continue to partake in agricultural activities both on commercial and subsistence basis, making it a critical part of everyday life in Botswana. The last few years have however been massively challenging as the industry has faced extended periods of drought. This has r esulted in the sector taking a signifi cant knock in production. One of Botswana’ s largest banks, Barclays have boldly taken part in the support of growth for the sector for many years. For the bank, agriculture has r emained one of the strategic priorities.

and finally structuring and restructuring finance solutions will become mor e important during these times. Barclays Agribusiness division has noted the drought has affected both the cr ops and livestock sub sectors differently. Farmers are advised to take on several mitigating efforts to help them survive the presently tough conditions. Commercial cattle br eeding in ranches gives the farmer control over stocking rates and hence grazing is contr olled. Grazing can also be controlled through rotational grazing and off-taking. De-bushing of farms is also critical in drought years because it can incr ease grazing capacity by up to 100%. The crops sub-sector mor e

will be losses to farmers as a results of poor rains as in crop production that could cause price incr eases due to lower supply . The farmer could thus still r ealize good income, irrespective of fewer hectares planted. However the Commercial farming operations clients have not planted less hectar es due to poor rains experienced last year. The bank has noticed that farmers are also improving techniques to contain moisture more effectively, allowing them to still plant ar eas which in the past may not have been possible. The bank continues to support the industry with long term loans for farm pur chase and improvements, Asset Finance for pur chase of farm

The bank continues to support the industry with long term loans for farm purchase and improvements, Asset Finance for purchase of farm machinery and equipment and working capital to cover production costs. Despite the current challenges the bank has continued to support farmers in their quests to help feed the nation. Speaking at the r ecent full year results announcement, Barclays Bank Managing Director Reinette V an Der Merwe stated that their believe is that weather conditions ar e and will r emain part of doing business in agricultur e, “ it is important for us to continue support our clients thr ough good and bad times”. She highlighted that the bank is committed to going thr ough the cycle with farmers, truly applying relationship banking in order to know their farming operations and industries well

especially dry land farming likewise has been crippled by drought. Employing conservation agriculture is critical in or der to achieve reasonable yields in dr ought years. The main aim of this approach is to conserve moisture in the soil thr ough minimum or zer o tillage. In horticulture, the use of hydroponics where water is recycled and then r e-used for fertigation is the only answer. The technology is capital intensive but r ecovery is faster when pr oducing high value crops such as lettuce, cucumber, tomato etc. It is important to note that it is not always the case that ther e

machinery and equipment and working capital to cover production costs. The repayments of these loans are structured such that they are aligned to the specific farming operation’s cash fl ow and production cycles. As a way of investing back into the farming community , the bank has partner ed with Sandveld Ranchers Association to hold this year’s Association Annual Field Day that will be held from 29th April to 1st May 2016, which is the 3rd year of the partnership.

With access to funding, tailor-made cash management solutions and a dedicated team to put you in touch with the right contacts, you’ll have all the support you need to grow your business. For more information on our Agribusiness solutions, contact 398 5460/ 398 5484.

Open Doors. Prosper.

Terms and conditions apply.

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Celebrating 50 Years of Agriculture in Botswana


NITRAM SOLAR SYSTEMS • Located at Plot 39 Unit 8 Gaborone International Commerce Park, Gaborone • Supplies and installs solar power systems for water pumping, home power systems, portable power , refrigeration and solar cookers. • Solar power technology in the past 10 years has developed rapidly to make solar power pr ovide electricity more cheaper, sustainable, cleaner and more efficient than fuel and coal. • Apart from the initial capital costs there is no other cost for some time since solar panels are 80% efficient after 25years ,inverter lifespan is 12years and deep cycle batteries last 8 to 9 years. • Nitram Solar Systems supplies and installs only high-tech solar pr oducts such as poly crystalline solar panels ,MPPT inverters and controllers and deep cycle solar batteries and has warranty for its products.


OLAR WATER PUMPING SYSTEMSWe are Botswana agents for SOLAR TECH, the worlds leader in solar water pumping technology. Solartech solar pumping systems consist of solar panels that convert solar energy into DC electricity, a solar inverter which converts DC electricity to 3 phase (AC) power , monitors and controls system operations and supplies power to the motor that drives the pumps. The solar pump inverter uses maximum power point tracking (MPPT) to adjust output fr equency according to solar radiation r eal time to make the system operate always at optimal level. The level switch prevents water over fl ow and water wastage. This makes the system suitable for r emote areas and wildlife farms and parks. The pump driven by a 3 phase induction motor/ DC brushless motor/permanent magnet motor draws water from deep well/river

to the r eservoir. Solar pumps draw water fr om as deep as 290m (pump level) and water flow of up 700m3/day fr om rivers. The Solartech Solar water pumping systems ar e reliable with a 2 year warranty and is environmentally clean, cheap and suitable for pumping water for livestock, settlements, irrigation, wildlife r eserves, game farms and parks, camps, tourism sites , mobile exploration camps and other r emote areas without electricity. Prices for Solartech Solar Water Pumping Systems range for livestock watering fr om P36,000 for bor eholes 80m deep to P156,000 for 5.5KW systems pumping at 240m deep. For irrigation costs will vary according to depth and water needed per day. There is a 2 year warranty for our sysytems. HOME SOLAR POWER SYSTEMSNitram Solar systems also supplies and installs Home Solar

systems to pr ovide electricity to homes, farms, settlements, tour operators, camps etc in areas without BPC power and also backup power systems in towns and villages to pr ovide uninterrupted power supply (UPS)during load shedding. Home solar systems consist of solar panels that convert solar energy to electricity,a solar controller that r egulates and controls the electricity load to batteries ,the solar batteries that store energy and the inverter , is needed to transfer DC power from solar panels and batteries to AC power. PORTABLE POWER GENERATORSNitram Solar Systems supplies portable solar generators fr om 10W systems that pr ovide lighting ,cell phone charging to 2,000W generators that provide electricity for lighting, TV ,computer, fans, cooking and other appliances in mobile homes ,camping sites, tourism, small houses, mobile and other

outdoor activities. FRDGE/FREEZERSFridge/freezers with adjustable temperature range can be charge from a solar system or a car from cigarette lighter or home power . Temparature range is down to -18oC SOLAR COOKERSSolar cookers ar e used for

cooking, water boiling etc using sun light as a sour ce of energy. A solar cooker is cheaper than a 48kg of gas. Ther e is no operational cost after pur chase. This saves woods and for est contributing positively to a clean environments and pr events global warming, climate change and desertification


Celebrating 50 Years of Agriculture in Botswana

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TEL:(+267) 5921684 CELL : (+267) 76274598, 73936254

P.O BOX 1842, MOLEPOLOLE , BOTSWANA E-MAIL : Magokotswane Molepolole

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Celebrating 50 Years of Agriculture in Botswana


Can Agriculture solve employment issues? LAME BOGATSU he formal economy is unable to cr eate enough employment opportunities to absorb the constant supply of labor seeking youth. Whatever the solution to this pr oblem, a great deal of coor dination and deft thinking will be r equired to attract gadget-loving and efficiency-prone young people into the agricultural sector. Among the most trendy and, perhaps, viable ‘solutions’ being touted today is greater youth involvement in rural development thr ough agriculture. However, youth participation in the agricultural sector in many developing countries is very low , largely because the sector is highly unattractive due to risks, costs, inefficiency and its labor intensive nature. As such, motivating the youth to view agricultur e as a career opportunity will r equire a high level of intervention. In the first instance, those within the school system must be targeted, the second, those


outside the school system must be lured and sensitized. But with that said,Botswana’s agriculture is fi lled with opportunities for meeting the green economy targets although it has r emained relatively small for many decades. Its gr owth, now evident in a few of its sub sectors, is coming at an opportune moment wher e the momentum and r esources for governments to invest in Green Economy ar e brooding. Through careful selection of strategies and technologies, growth-limiting factors such as land, water and energy can be tackled in ways that bring efficiencies, decent jobs and environmental sustainability. Due to the low levels of commercialization in many of the agricultural sub-sectors, opportunities for attaining organic production are many. Cattle production is still primarily free-ranging and a tracer system exists. What lacks is a system that matches supply-led to pr oduction-led agriculture so that pr oducers

are an integral and active part of the global value-chain. Without such a system, a lot of the organic produce will struggle to reach prime markets and will go to waste. Crop production also remains abound with organic farming opportunities whose ef forts can be unlocked by such low-cost initiatives as labelling requirements at r etail-level. Lucrative markets for organic products do also have stringent supply-chain management requirements, an element that speaks to the level and quality of agricultural extension services and intermediary services such as transport, packaging and storage. Irrigation Expansion: In a water-scarce country irrigation presents opportunities for increased food security . With water saving technologies such as drip irrigation, production per m3 of water can be incr eased. These systems ar e being practiced at Glenvalley and Dikabea irrigation projects and require methodical monitoring to allow for successful country-

wide roll-out following the geographical footprint of the wastewater treatment facilities. The volume of wastewater produced daily is still a lot more than that consumed in irrigation

representing underproduction. Challenges of land availability around grey water sour ces are another consequence of limited local level land use planning.


'21 7.,//7+(06&$5(7+(0$:$< How effectively do you protect your crops against pest bird damages?

(&2/2*,&$/3527(&7,21 1 $*$,1673(67%,5'6


bservation : The damages es ent caused by pests represent serious losses on crops, horticulture, orcharts , vegetable crops, ops, outdoor poultry farm and fish farming. If nothing is done to keep them away, pest birds can distroy an entire crop The Solution: SCARYBIRD deterrent eterrent Our system consists of a scarybird hooked to the top of a 6 meter telescopic pole; it mimics the e flight of a hawk. It takes off with low wind d (from 2km/hour only) This system is effective to keep away all pest birds such as crows, pigeons, magpies, starlings, sparrows seagulls etc Where to use It ? It protects efficiently sowed fields, orchards, vineyards, agricultural silages, tree gardens, outdoor poultry and fish farming ; each device will protect an area up to 15 000 sqm

Key points for customers ers (farmers) u






u u u u


Call : 71307960/ 73349346 E :



Celebrating 50 Years of Agriculture in Botswana

Farming Schemes offered to young Batswana LAME BOGATSU otswana is one of the few African countries that currently have farming schemes to assist those with a passion for farming. Among some of the schemes offered by government under the Ministry of Agriculture are ISPAAD, Special ISPAAD, and LIMID. Government in its effort to strengthen the farmer assistance pr ogrammes towards the improvement of farm pr oductivity terminated the Arable Land Development Programme (ALDEP) in 2008 and replaced it with the Integrated Support Pr ogramme for Arable Agricultur e Development (ISPAAD). One of the main objectives of ISPAAD is to improve arable sub sector pr oductivity by enhancing technology adoption. These technologies include: Use of hybrid seed, use of fertilizer , weeding, r ow planting, primary and secondary tillage. However emerging and commer cial farmers ar e already practicing these technologies. The current farming system in Botswana does not categorize farmers accor ding to their level and area of production, hence farmers are assisted equally under ISPAAD. To this end farmers do not get appropriate assistance for their level of operation and production. Hence the need to categorize farmers and to package appropriate subsidies accor ding to their level of production. Botswana poor soils r equire both basal and top dr essing of fertilizer , majority of farmers cannot af ford this operation because of pr ohibitive prices, as a r esult production levels r emain relatively low. Subsistence farmers do not pr operly carryout both primary and secondary tillage accordingly due to shortage of machinery and associated implements. They also do not plant hybrid seeds due to high prices. As a r esult their operations are inappropriate resulting 2 in low yields. Hence the need to pr ovide assistance in the form of draft power and hybrid seeds. The Ministry of Agricultur e has also adopted a twinning pr ogramme whereby commercial farmers who ar e assisted under ISPAAD are encouraged to twin with a subsistence farmer to mentor and assist the latter to adopt technologies that will increase his/her productivity. Special ISPAAD is yet another farming scheme offered by gover nment to assist farmers whose ar eas not conducive for arable farming. Accor ding to information offered by the Ministry of Agricultur e, Kgalagadi District and ar eas with similar agro-climatic conditions receive very little rainfall. The District and ar eas with similar agro-climatic conditions ar e not suitable for arable farming. Ther efore, farmers in the District and the areas with similar agro-climatic conditions do not beneďŹ t from the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultur e Development (ISPAAD). However, the District and areas with similar agro-climatic conditions are suitable for livestock production, particularly small stock (sheep and goats including karakul (Swakara) sheep farming), especially in Kgalagadi South. A Special Assistance Pr ogramme to Kgalagadi District has ther efore been approved. The pr ogramme also covers areas of Gantsi, Kweneng W est and Western parts of the Souther n District which are similar to the Kgalagadi District. The special package covers r esourcepoor beneďŹ ciaries who will be assisted with Karakul sheep, or dinary sheep or goats, Tswana chickens/guinea fowls, salt bush ďŹ elds, pulses and melons production under the conservation agriculture practices and construction of sand dams or equipping of


existing boreholes without any contribution by the farmer. Farmers who have less than two hundred (200) herd of cattle are assisted with a 50% grant up to a maximum of P25 000.00 to buy Karakul sheep, ordinary sheep or goats or Tswana chickens/guinea fowls and construction of sand dams or equipping of existing boreholes with a 60% grant up to a maximum of P120 000.00. Another farming scheme offered is that of Livestock Management and Infrastructur e Development (LIMID). LIMID is one of the main Agricultural Support Schemes and is composed of animal husbandry and fodder

support, water development, cooperative poultry abattoirs for small-scale poultry producers, small stock, guinea fowl and Tswana chickens. This support scheme is available to Botswana citizens only. Another farming scheme is that of Young Farmers Fund, it is one of the few that offers ďŹ nancial assistance. Young Farmers fund offers young citizens improved access entrepreneurial training so as to enable them to engage in sustainable agricultural activities better equipped with the requisite skills for managing farming business. Financial assistance pr ovided by Y oung Farmers Fund, is in the form of loans at subsidized interest rates. The loan may be used for infrastructur e development required for the project or to cover working or both.

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The major objectives of YFF ar e to: Foster youth enterprises in agricultur e through effective pursuit of opportunities in agricultural sector; encourage the development of competitive and sustainable youth enterprises by rewarding competitiveness and discouraging inefďŹ ciency; create sustainable employment opportunities for young people through the development of sustainable agricultural project; promoting the development of vertical integration and horizontal linkages between enterprises and primary industries in agriculture; minimize migration of young people to urban centers through creation of job opportunities in rural area; all Batswana citizens aged 18-40 years; wholly citizen owned companies by directors aged 18-40 years.



Plot No 6382/C Nakedi Road, Broadhurst Industrial | Tel 3191686 | Fax 3191687 | Email:

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Celebrating 50 Years of Agriculture in Botswana


Agricultural and mechanized farming of mechanized agricultur e. Mechanized agriculture is the pr ocess of using agricultural machinery to automate the work of farming and cultivation. Automated machinery has since marked the evolution of agriculture, one of the most ancient human occupations. The fi rst universal mechanization of agriculture came with the introduction of the plough, usually powered by animals however; curr ent mechanized farming includes the use of tractors, trucks and harvesters. Some modern commercial farms incorporate the use of ICT s in their farming methods to increase yields. At the heart of agricultural transformation

ver the years agricultur e has met significant challenges that include limited resources, unskilled labor , and a lack of arable land. However as society matured and technology changed the face of agricultur e, farmers have had to make equally signifi cant changes to farming methods in order to experience an escalation in productivity and yields, as well as move towards commercial farming. To increase farm pr oduction, and meet the unlimited demand for food in semi-arid Botswana, farmers have engaged the use





Citizen Training participation on pumps and generators

Solar pumps and borehole pumps

Workshop Fascilities to repair and maintainance


Irrigation and mining pumps

The company has who has structured it to deliver quality product & service at most economical price viable to customer by closely working with the customer, understanding his product specification, helping him get the product with the exact specification with in his budget.




We provide Onsite, Offsite, In-house and Overseas Training wherever necessary for the Nira Holding has operated for 16 years in Botswana supporting Agriculture use and servicing of equipment brought sector ,Farming sector and mining sector. Worforce is 98% of local citizens. from us.


74082742 Tel : 686 5738 Fax : 6865758

into a sector that contributes significantly to the economic activity, lies mechanization. Much advancement in technology and innovation of farming has since been manifested into the sector thr ough mechanization of farming techniques and tools. Draft animals have been used for farming dating back thousands of years back; however a major tur ning point in history occurred when tractors began to replace these animals in the early decades of the 20th century. An online r eport from the National Academy of Engineering states, “T ractors leveraged a gr owing oil economy to significantly accelerate agricultural productivity and output. Early harvesting methods had r equired separate pr ocess operations for dif ferent implements.  With tractors, the number of necessary passes in a fi eld for specifi c implements was reduced, and eventually, those implements were combined through innovation into the “combination” or combine harvester.” The impact of mechanization on productivity In this day and age, automated machinery has r eplaced labor intensifi ed jobs previously occupied by men or animals such as oxen and horses, as many new innovations have led to incr eased capability and improved farm productivity. In most cases, incr eased agricultural production is often br ought about by improved crop varieties that can be attained through creating suitable envir onments that would allow plants and animals to grow to their full potential. This is also brought upon by the use of suitable range of machinery and equipment operated through skilled labor . Mechanization of farming thus contributes to incr eased yields and effi ciency, as it r educes cost of production considerably. Some advantages of adopting mechanized farming include effi ciency in large scale pr oduction, improvement of quality in farm pr oduce, not only that it encourages the take of agricultur e as a career path, particularly in Botswana where the government continually urge citizens to go into farming, thr ough programs such as the Integrated Support Pr ogramme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD). ISPAAD is one of the main Agricultural Support Schemes intr oduced in 2008 to address challenges in the arable sub-sector; of poor technology  adoption by farmer and low pr oductivity of the sub-sector , the objectives being to grain pr oduction, promote food security, and commercialize agriculture through mechanisation. Current Trends- ICT and Agriculture As the use of agricultural mechanization grows with technological tr ends, it has become possible for farmers to plough many hectares of land in a day with suitable machinery. In future, the use of ICT in agriculture will pr ovide farmers with a platform to increase production. A mind map for ICT shows it being applicable at all the thr ee stages of the farming process, from pre-cultivation, Crop cultivation and harvesting and post harvesting, in or der to gather information that will help in futur e to for ecast ahead of production in accor dance with data gathered. First, an ICT is any device, tool, or application that permits the exchange or collection of data thr ough interaction or transmission. Accor ding to the ICT in Agriculture (http://www.ictinagriculture. org/), an electr onic e-source book by the Agriculture and Rural Development Department (ARD) of the W orld Bank, Information and communication have always mattered in agricultur e, with challenges such as global food shortage, poverty, and escalating and unmet To AG8


Celebrating 50 Years of Agriculture in Botswana

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ith approximately 3300 hours of sunlight in Botswana solar energy is the tool of the future with its approach towards clean and green energy




Gontech Limited and Scales Associates have formed a marriage of innovative technology by developing practical solutions for every step of the Agriculture industry from running borehole pumps to refrigerated storage. We work hand in hand with local and rural communities and investors to implement the latest technologies for solar sustained enterprises. INVERTERS







Plot 20591 Mabutswe Road Broadhurst Industrial Gaborone Tel : 267 3973386 Fax 3924949

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Celebrating 50 Years of Agriculture in Botswana


Livestock feeding management important during drought unmarketable animals, r educed fertility which will af fect the farmer’ s ability to breed his or her animals. According to experts, farmers have to actively car e for their livestock. The Veterinary department states that in times of dr ought, Cattle pr oducers for instance generally have two main options for meeting the nutrient r equirements of cattle on dr ought affected pastures and ranges. The fi rst is to pr ovide supplemental feed to ensur e the cow

Modiri Mogende he drought season has had massively negative ef fects on livestock. Throughout the country, farmers have been faced with the challenge of having to identify ways of feeding their livestock in keeping with nutritious needs. Farmers encounter high mortality in their stock, r educed weight gain in livestock r esulting in



AND MAINTAINANCE OF FARMING IMPLEMENTS LINE OF TRADE The company’s main operations is manufacturing and maintaining of farming implements. The implements are as follows ‡ Hammer mill ( fodder processor) both large and small ‡ Combined thrashing machine ‡ Cattle troughs feeding and watering (both sizes) ‡ Feed Mixer ‡ Milling Machines ‡ Strong farm and Kraal gates ‡ Farm louses ‡ Feed storage structures ‡ Cattle trailers ‡ Tractor trailers ‡ Donkey carts ‡ Planters (both 2 row and 4 rows) ‡ Bull rack ‡ Engine rooms ‡ Submissable extractor P O BOX BOX 288 288 Metsimotlhabe 744 844 14 / 71 450 853 Location Mestimotlhabe next to JABS Filling station

herd has adequate energy , protein, vitamins, and minerals. This is necessary as water holes run dry and grazing pastures become increasingly bare. A study by the Department of Animal Health and Pr oduction at the Ministry of Agriculture has r evealed that soils in Botswana have been found to be lacking in calcium and phosphorus. This therefore calls for feeding of mineral supplements all year round, especially in drought season. “Bone meal used to be a sour ce of calcium and phosphorus but the Botswana Meat Commission stopped manufacturing. Now it cannot be fed because of the Eur opean Union (EU) restrictions. Though it is evident that animals lack nutrients which is mor e clearly manifested during the dry season, the small farmer in the communal area still has not picked up the idea of supplementing animals with these minerals.” Study highlighted. In contrast, the mor e affluent farmers on the ranches and in the communal areas do supplement their livestock, which gives them better chances of surviving the tough times with most of their livestock. The study observes that as br eweries and millers pr oduce a substantial amount of by-products that can be fed to animals especially pigs and dairy animals. However these ar e usually not recommended for cattle, “Beef cattle and other livestock are also fed these byproducts and they pr ovide a good feed base for the dry season for all types of livestock.” The problem however observed is that these by-products can only be found in urban centres where the industries ar e located. Those in the remote areas do not have easy access to these products and therefore have either to r esort to other feed sources, or simply leave natur e to take its course hoping the animals will pull through. As the drought drags on compounded with the upcoming winter season which is usually tough on livestock anyway , The need to gr ow fodder in Botswana cannot be over emphasised given the unpredictable nature of the climate. Furthermore scientists have w arned that with climate change dr oughts are expected to incr ease in fr equency, proving an uncertain futur e for many farmers in this country.

Agricultural Combined Threasher

Tractor Trailor and Cattle Trailor

2 row & 4 row Planter

Bull Rack

Hammer mill( fodder procesor) both large and small

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demand. The book writes that many of the questions asked by farmers including questions on how to incr ease yields, access markets, and adapt to weather conditions can now be answer ed faster, with greater ease, and increased accuracy. “Many of the questions can also be answered with a dialogue where farmers, experts, and gover nment can select best solutions based on a diverse set of expertise and experience.” “ICT is one of these solutions, and has recently unleashed incr edible potential to impr ove agriculture in developing countries specifi cally. The ability of ICT s to bring r efreshed momentum to agricultur e appears even more compelling in light of rising investments in agricultural research, the private sector’s strong interest in the development and spr ead of ICTs, and the upsurge of organizations committed to the agricultural development agenda.”

Agriculture Supplememt  

A Botswana Gazette supplement on the agriculture industry in Botswana.