The Monitor :: NEDC Secures Land For Commercial Farming
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Last Updated
Thursday 20 July 2017, 17:11 pm.
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NEDC Secures Land For Commercial Farming

FRANCISTOWN: The government has purchased 2,596 hectares of land for commercial farming in the North East District.
By Pini Bothoko Mon 10 Oct 2016, 18:01 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: NEDC Secures Land For Commercial Farming








North East District Council (NEDC) chairperson Florah Mpetsane told a full council meeting recently that the land include 13 small farms covering 342 hectares, 11 horticultural plots covering 90 hectares and 12 commercial plots covering 2164 hectares.

Mpetsane explained: “The land is located between Matopi and Matsiloje villages. To date the plots have been advertised, the tender was recently closed and currently under evaluation stage”. With the current debilitating drought fueled by the El Niño phenomenon and marauding elephants,which damage crops in some parts of NEDC, commercial farming is said to be the way to go. The government bought the farms and gave them to NEDC.

People who are interested in commercial farming would be expected to tender in order to try their luck in commercial farming.

Recently, during a full council meeting, NEDC chairperson Florah Mpetsane revealed that since majority of farmers in those areas have lost hope in farming, the council took a resolution to use the land that the government purchased on their behalf for commercial arable farming.

The council chairperson said these farms, like Pandamatenga and Mosisedi farms, are earmarked to address food security in Botswana. She stated that commercial farmers ensure greater food security in the country by producing more food than subsistence farmers. She said that they are hopeful that the farms would also open job opportunities for the locals because more labour will be required hence an opportunity to the community.

Mpetsane said MoA has de-bushed 21km out of 26km perimeter fence and also

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advertised fencing of this project.

Reached for a comment, NEDC’s agricultural coordinator Nkaigwa Joel said of late climate change has been a threat to the country’s food security hence the introduction of this commercial arable farming.

“We are confident that only business-oriented people who are into large scale farming will lease out this land. The idea for this project is to have continuous production to attain food security as compared to only focusing on dry farming,” Joel said.

Joel added that people who are passionate about farming have been struggling to meet their dreams due to the invasion of elephants and some of them failed to acquire agricultural land. He emphasised that such people would be able to take advantage of this project and lease out land for commercial farming. He said following frequent invasion of elephants, MoA would fence the land with electricity fence. He said the land is rich with fertile soils and the area often receives better rains as compared to other parts of the country.

Joel stated that he is hopeful that the implementation of this project will contribute to the national food security by increasing crop and vegetables production.

He said while subsistence farmers may feed their own families, the national food security depends on commercial farming. “Majority of people in our area depend on farming for survival and hoping that they will take advantage of this project to lease out land and consider ploughing on large scale for commercial purpose,” Joel said.

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