- Singles out agriculture and water as more impacted
- Acknowledges that livelihoods were altered
- Extolls Botswana’s Mosu cattle breed for resilience
Climate change almost paralysed Botswana’s key economic sectors and resulted in substantial financial loss and alteration of livelihoods, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.
Speaking at the High Level Segment National Adaption Plan (NAP) Expo that was held in Gaborone recently, the President singled out agriculture and water for special mention as sector especially impacted, noting as in much of Africa, Botswana’s communities depend on both arable and pastoral farming.
Threat to food security
“With the increased temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns, perpetuated by unreliable and below average rainfall, the productivity of the agricultural sector is posing a serious threat to our food security,” he noted.
The President Masisi stated that adaptation for Botswana and the rest of Africa is not a choice but a development and socio-economic imperative.
“Whereas we also need to ensure that we contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases through mitigation actions, to which I hereby reiterate my government’s commitment, adaptation will always remain a cardinal priority,” he emphasised.
“Therefore, hosting the 7th NAP Expo is yet another demonstration of political will on the part of my government to unite our resolve with those facing a similar predicament across the globe.”
He noted that Botswana continues to do its part in implementing the required measures for building resilient economic sectors.
“In the agriculture sector, we have strengthened our research in developing (a) cattle breed that could withstand the prevailing climatic conditions,” he said.
Homegrown research initiatives
“I am proud to inform you that yet again, the Mosi cattle breed is the product of this homegrown research initiative. We further continue to supply the region with animal vaccines produced from our Botswana Vaccine Institute, maintaining high international standards and efficacy.”
President Masisi disclosed that the government recently launched a research fund to provide the scholars and researchers with resources to develop transformative initiatives that will enhance the country’s resilience.
“As part of interfacing with technology development, Botswana continues to develop applications and systems for different economic sectors through the Botswana Innovation Hub where some of the technologies that were developed recently during COVID-19 pandemic are housed,” he said.
“The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) also continues to strengthen research that led to the development of the drones that were piloted in deploying COVID-19 medicines.”
NAP Expo is a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences around the design, formulation and implementation of National Adaptation Plans.