Mmegi Online :: Budget leaves farmers underwhelmed
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Last Updated
Friday 23 February 2018, 16:09 pm.
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Budget leaves farmers underwhelmed

Local agriculturalists are unimpressed with the allocations provided for their sector as revealed by Finance Minister, Kenneth Matambo, in his budget speech yesterday.
By Mbongeni Mguni Tue 06 Feb 2018, 16:41 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Budget leaves farmers underwhelmed








Matambo proposed P1.34 billion for the Agriculture ministry’s recurrent budget, as well as an unspecified amount under the development budget for the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development and the Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development.

This morning, Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) agronomy manager, Lambani Obuseng said the allocations to farming fell far short of the mark, particularly given the potential the sector had to the economy.

“We need to ask ourselves whether that allocation is enough for us to take agriculture to the next level,” Obuseng told delegates at First National Bank Botswana’s post-budget review.

“This is worrisome especially because at the African Union’s summit in

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2003, it was agreed that agriculture should receive at least 10 percent of the national budget. The allocation here is three percent.” 

Clover Botswana general manager, Mike Joyner said the allocations to agriculture were inadequate.

“That three percent, I would say look at the SADC strategy that says agro-processing is a key sector for development. I’m not sure three percent is in line with that,” he said.

From contributing up to 40 percent of GDP at Independence, agriculture’s performance has fallen to an estimated two percent in recent years, the result of numerous factors including climate change, poor uptake of technology as well as capital.

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