The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and Farmers United held a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony on Friday (29 July 2022) in Gaborone at Fairgrounds. Besides the general promotion of horticulture, the partnership aims to provide solutions to the acute vegetable shortages caused by crop restrictions. LEA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Racious Moatshe said, “National demand for the 16 restricted crops stood at 66 424 tons while local production stood at 36 972 tons over the last months. There is a shortfall of more than 30 000 tons.” He continued to highlight that there is a shortage of highly consumable crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, onions and pepper since the ban. Minister of Trade and Industry Honorable Mmusi Kgafela, in his key note address said, “Initiatives set in this partnership will diffuse the widespread perception that retailers rip off farmers while retailers on the other hand perceive farmers’ produce to be exorbitant and of inferior quality.”
“National demand for the 16 restricted crops stood at 66 424 tons while local production stood at 36 972 tons over the last months. There is a shortfall of more than 30 000 tons.” LEA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Racious Moatshe.
Mr Ratsela Molefe the Chairman Farmers United gave a presentation on their mandate and strategic intentions. He said “We are a public company because we want farmers to become part of this bigger picture. We are already at 100 as farmers across the country and we want to have all Botswana farmers as part of Farmers United.” In his closing remarks Assistant Minister of Agriculture Honorable Molebatsi Molebatsi appealed to the stakeholders to take deliberate steps to develop measurable programmes that will insure that the importation restriction directives bear fruit.