The Ministry of Agriculture has released the revised National Policy on Agricultural Development. The revised policy which is the first review in 23 years is more improved policy as it now has an implementation plan unlike the 1991 version.
Speaking in an interview midway through the policy consultative workshop the Ministry hosted at the Botswana College of Agriculture last week, Permanent Secretary, Dr Micus Chimbombi said the review was necessary as there has been change in demand and new issues like climate change which had to be considered.
Furthermore, the Policy and Plan will now be reviewed after every ten years “to bring them in line with the ever changing national, regional and international trends. Information and statistics will be compiled and an effective monitoring and evaluation system will be established and implemented to track the implementation of the policy and to determine the efficacy of the Policy.” Chimbombi said.
In efforts to make the Policy more effective, its performance and relevance, as well as that of the Plan will be reviewed as per the established implementation plan. “This review will focus on the policy performance in terms of its objectives and adequacy of the instruments as well as on major changes that are necessary because of new national, regional and international developments,” the new Policy indicates on its implementation framework.
The objectives of the policy amongst others are; to improve food security, diversify the Agricultural sector production base, increase Agricultural output and productivity, increase employment opportunities, conserve the scarce agricultural land resources, and to provide a secure and productive environment.
The Minister, Christiaan De Graaf urged the attendants of the workshop to treat agriculture like a business. “Let us stop taking Agriculture as a hobby, let’s run it like a business,” he said. He said government will support farmers by buying local produce.