Gaborone, Botswana, 21 November 2017 (ECA) – “Our position as the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Botswana is that the adoption of value chain approach to developing the agriculture sector in no longer an option but and imperative”. The statement was made by Ms Mmadima Nyathi, Director of Research Statistics and Policy Development of the Botswana Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security this week in Gaborone at a meeting organised by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to validate a study entitled: “Fostering Sustainable Transformation of Agriculture in Africa through Inclusive Green Economy: The Case of Livestock Value Chain in Botswana”.
Speaking at the official opening on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ms Nyathi pointed out that given Botswana’s climatic conditions, the country had a comparative advantage in livestock, especially beef industry. “We should be producing and promoting organic beef from deep sands of the Kalahari Desert.”
She further expressed profound gratitude to the ECA for choosing Botswana as one of the study countries and hailed it as timely. She said it had come at a point when the country had started implementing its second national vision 2036, which emphasizes “the creation of sustainable, technology driven and commercially viable agricultural sector, based on private sector-led value chains.
The value chain approach, she said, would optimize the use of agricultural land and promote the sustainable development and competitiveness of agro-food subsectors.
Mr. David Mfote, Assistant Representative of the FAO in Botswana said that the meeting was a well-timed opportunity in today’s global village, where market and its opportunities have an increasing impact not only on the sustainability of agricultural production practices but also on other activities in the value chain.
He concurred with Ms Nyathi on the timeliness of the study, noting that it came at a time when the Government of the Republic of Botswana was on the drive to diversify its economy by investing in the agricultural sector with a special focus on the livestock sector.
For his part, Mr. Charles Akol, speaking on behalf of ECA said that sustainable transformation agriculture required the adoption of agricultural policies and practices that not only increase and sustain productivity and economic viability of agriculture, but also address food security, promote resource efficiency and climate resilience and enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base that underpin agriculture and other economic activities.
The meeting provided a platform for experts to dialogue and strengthen a network to promote sustainable transformation of the livestock sector through inclusive green economy principles and approach.
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