National Agricultural Master Plan for Arable Agriculture and Dairy Development (NAMPAADD)
The National Assembly approved Government White Paper No. 1 of 2002 on the National Agricultural Master Plan for Arable Agriculture and Dairy Development (NAMPAADD) in April 2002 and the NAMPAADD Coordinating Unit was established in October 2002. The primary objective of the Master Plan is to develop agriculture’s competitiveness and reduce the country’s reliance on imports of agricultural products that can be viably produced locally. This is to be achieved through programmes that enable traditional/subsistence farmers to up-grade their operations to a commercial level, and at the same time assist commercial farmers to improve their level of management and technological application. The programme focuses on dairy, horticulture and rainfed farming. The core mandate of the NAMPAADD Coordinating Unit is to spearhead the implementation of the Master Plan in conjunction with the relevant Departments of the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders.
NAMPAADD has already been running for over five years, with phases I and II. Both phases had a number of very good successes but also some very poor results. The next stage of the program will have four main sections:
i) Consolidation of the NAMPAADD Unit as the "in-house" consultants’ team of the MoA.
ii) Production and Training Farms (PTFs). These were established in phase II and must be made to operate on a commercial basis, with the training being supported by the MoA. This will enable them to be used for the purpose they were originally intended - Production (commercial viability) and Training (demonstration of appropriate technologies for Botswana which can easily be replicated by our farmers).
iii) Establish Agricultural Service Centres (ASCs’) at each PTF. These will be operated on a commercial basis and will provide the necessary inputs for the different sectors that the PTF’s cover.
iv) Extension Services. To be provided by MoA staff with support and guidance from the "in-house consultants", the NAMPAADD unit. The extension services must be more professional than at present and should cover all the necessary aspects needed to enable the farming community to become more proficient and therefore productive and viable.
The intention of the next phase is to cover a much wider group of farmers than in the previous phase thereby having a greater impact on the industry as a whole. Once the initial five PTF’s / ASC’s are up and running it is proposed to "roll out" the process to areas that have been identified to have the potential to produce on a commercial basis and to new areas that are planned to be established, i.e. new agricultural dams, etc.
Zambezi Integrated Agro-Commercial Development Project (ZIACDP)
In October 2005, TAHAL, submitted a commercial farming project proposal, ‘The Zambezi Integrated Agro-Commercial Development Project’ for consideration by the Ministry. This project is in line with Vision 2016, the National Development Plan 9, and the National Master Plan for Arable Agriculture and Dairy Development (NAMPAADD) whose main objectives are to improve the performance of the sector, diversify the economic base and ensure sustainable use of the country’s natural resources. It also supports the spirit of the Forum of the Zambezi River Basin Authorities, 2005, which encourages the eight riparian Member States (Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia) to present development projects that will utilize their share of allocated water for food production in order to prevent hunger and thus enhance poverty alleviation.
The Ministry of Agriculture has signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Botswana and the TAHAL Consultant Engineers, to facilitate negotiations for the development of the Zambezi Integrated Agro-Commercial Project which was approved through Cabinet Directive No. 32(a)/2006 dated 13 September 2006.
Zambezi Agro-Commercial Integrated Development project consists of two components: the Infrastructural Development (Component "A") and the Agro-Commercial Development (Component "B"). The main objectives of the project is to develop agricultural production on a large commercial scale in the north of Botswana, thereby diversifying economic activities and developing the agricultural sector to be a significant contributor to the country’s GDP. The project also intends to encourage private investment in the agricultural industry and job creation.
Component A: Finance, Design, Supply and Implementation of Infrastructure on a Turnkey Basis
Development of the main water supply and infrastructural systems on a turnkey basis, which includes description, mobilization of funds, design, supply of the equipment, implementation and commissioning, with a view to ensuring reliable water supply to the entire Project. This work is estimated to cost approximately US$450 million.
Component B: Private Investment of Agro-Industry and Farming Development
The development of commercial agriculture is divided into two phases (Phase 1 - about 18,700 ha; Phase 2 - about 21,300 ha; for a total area of about 40,000 ha). Phase 1, which will be a gradual development, includes on-farm water distribution system, agro-industries and agricultural machinery, including design, supply of machinery, implementation, and commercial operation of the agri-business for a total estimated investment of US$ 300 million.
Agricultural Infrastructural Development initiative (AIDI)
The Agricultural Infrastructure Development Initiative’s (AIDI), main goal is help facilitate the diversification of the agricultural sector and at the same time improve food security, through the provision and development of infrastructure in key areas, i.e. road, power, telecommunications and water.
A study is under way and should be completed by the end of September 2008. In 2005 the initiative was estimated at BWP 6.6 billion.
Agricultural Service Centres (ASC are part of ISPAAD and NAMPAADD)
Agricultural Service Centres are intended to provide a "one stop" solution for farmers by providing a reliable and cost effective supply of agricultural inputs, tractors and implements for field operations together with some form of support services.
The MoA is in the process of setting up the first 15 ASCs in different areas around the country under the MoA Initiative Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD). The initiative is to take the place of ALDEP III and will assist farmers with a variety of inputs and services; seeds, fertilizer, ploughing, planting, cluster fencing, portable water for clusters and access to credit facilities through the NDB.
It is intended to have most of the sections up and running for the 2008-9 planting season.
Botswana Contributory Agricultural Insurance Scheme (BCAIS)
A feasibility study on a contributory agricultural insurance scheme has been completed by a consultant; we are now waiting for the Policy Advisory Committee of the MoA to guide us on the way forward.
The scheme is aimed at minimising farmer’s risks caused by annual and in-season climatic variability and by other extreme natural disasters. Financial institutions have shown reluctance to offer agricultural loans to farmers in the absence of an agricultural insurance.
State Farms around dams and Sewage Ponds (arable and horticultural)
It has become apparent that a lot of land and farms once allocated are not used for production, but speculation. It is proposed to bring these farms into production, if necessary by re-allocating them to people and companies that will use the land for the purposes it was intended. Water from Sewage Ponds is also a valuable resource and must be utilised to its optimum potential, bearing in mind international standards for water usage of this type.
Botswana Meat Commission (GRM partnership)
In 2007 the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) engaged an Australian company (GRM) in a Capacity Building Partnership Program, to assist them in transforming BMC into a productive and internationally competitive company, to take advantage of their ability to slaughter, process and export the finished products to several lucrative markets around the world.
To date the partnership has almost completed a strategic plan that will guide the development and operations of BMC in the future. They have also identified several processes and operations that need to be addressed to enable the "NEW" BMC to be competitive.
Banyana Ranch and other state owned ranches (cattle sector)
Banyana as I am sure you are aware is a ranch of some 149,000ha and is situated on our southern border with South Africa. The farm used to be owned and operated by CDC. Banyana has a great potential if guided in the right direction to assist in the development of the beef sector of Botswana.
Over the past few years several suggestions, reports and plans have been formulated, none have been adopted. I am now heading a small task team which is appraising the different options and will make firm recommendations as to the way forward. We are guided by the BEAC report, which suggests three broad parameters; vocational training for the beef sector, breed herds to help lift the standard of the national herd and commercial production. The team has only just started, but it is hoped that we will have the framework completed by the middle of next month.
As above under state farms, it has become apparent that a lot of state owned ranches are not being used for production, but speculation. Thirteen ranches have so far been identified for tendering out to people that will use them for production.