SELEBI-PHIKWE: The Chief Executive Officer for SPEDU, Mokubung Mokubung says the horticulture processing plant will be operational by early March.
Speaking at a press briefing here on Tuesday, Mokubung said the P6 million project, which was supposed to had started operating last year, was delayed by challenges beyond their control. He said the commissioning of the plant by suppliers from India is the main cause of delays to the opening of the plant. Mokubung, however, said the Indian partners are in Botswana and have commissioned the plant.
“Our partners from India are in Botswana now and they have commissioned the plant. They have also started to test the processing machines hence (we are) confident that the plant will be open early March,” he said.
The horticulture processing plant is expected to add value to the five most produced vegetables in the region, namely; tomatoes, onion, cabbage, carrots and beetroot. The plant will be processing the excess produce into some value added products that have much longer shelf life such as pickled and dried products. Mokubung said it is important for farmers to use the plant to their advantage, as they will ensure that they support local products. He said it is upon local farmers to produce quality vegetables that will be supplied to the plant. “This plant is open to all farmers to come and supply their vegetables,” he said. The plant will be operated by Naftec Investment (Pty) Ltd a company, which is wholly owned by NFTRC.
Mokubung also said apart from the horticulture processing plant, there are a number of horticulture projects that SPEDU is embarking on.
He said there are 44 farms that are being electrified. He added it is important for the farms to be electrified as power supply is critical in horticulture projects. “Presently, BPC is doing environmental assessment and once complete BPC will then supply electricity to those farms,” he said.