Botswana, Nairobi: In the quest to become self sufficient in food production, Botswana stands to learn a lot from Kenya, a country of similar size and geographic landmass that has done well in high quality horticultural export trade, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane has said.
Speaking during a courtesy call to the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) on Tuesday, Tsogwane said Botswana could leverage from Kenya’s booming horticulture trade, which includes exports in vegetables, flowers and ornamentals, fresh fruit, processed vegetable and fruit as well as herbs and spices.
“At independence, our livestock and arable farming were on par, but over the years, while the beef industry grew to become part of the mainstay of the economy, arable farming stagnated. We could learn from Kenya about investing in creating a viable horticulture sector that leads to food security and foreign exchange earnings through exports,” said Tsogwane.
He added that given the two countries’ good relations, Botswana and Kenya should trade more, and lessons could be exchanged on improving crop production.
“We have the advantage of the climate and the availability of land; we need to promote horticulture, learning from the success of Kenya in the sector,” said Tsogwane.
KNCCI President Richard Ngatia further stressed the need for closer economic collaboration between Botswana and Kenya, countries he said to bear similarities.
“Successful industries Botswana could collaborate with or learn from Kenya include financial technology, innovation, farming technology, tourism, education sector and agriculture, particularly the horticulture sector. Kenya has emerged as a leader in the high-quality horticultural ecosystem,” said Ngatia.
After the courtesy call, KNCCI took a Botswana delegation led by Minister of Transport and Public Works, Eric Molale, including Botswana Trade and Investment Centre (BITC) representation on a tour of a 250-hector production plant farm run by KNCCI member company, PJ Dave Farm Limited.
The company, which holds the exclusive rights to cultivate and sell Rhodos roses in the world, showcased their plant, detailing the process involved in the production of flowers, fruits and vegetables for global export, particularly to the European, Asian, Middle East and Australian markets. BOPA.
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