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SGR Run Short Of Maize Stock

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Leonard Morakaladi said the SGR, which is meant for food security purposes, has currently exhausetd the maize stock PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) says it is currently importing maize after the Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) ran down on the maize grain's stock.

The Board’s chief executive officer, Leonard Morakaladi explained that although the SGR, which is meant for food security purposes has currently exhausted the maize stock, there is sufficient stock for sorghum and beans to take the nation through until the next harvest.

The SGR target comprises 30 000 metric tonnes of sorghum and maize respectively and 10 000 metric tonnes of beans. The beans stock stands at 2000 metric tonnes.

He said Botswana generally remains a net importer of maize grain as millers continue to import grain from South Africa for human consumption and is meant to augment any shortfall in local supply. 

Morakaladi explained that the shortage is caused by unfavourable weather conditions in the country. Furthermore, Morakaladi stated that the country consumes 180 000-190 000 metric tonnes of maize annually.

“Local production of maize is around 20 000 metric tonnes annually against a demand of 180 000- 190 000 metric tonnes for consumption. Maize production is hampered by unfortunate weather conditions,” he said, adding that the expected tonnages of maize to be receive by end of August is 12 000 metric tonnes. 

He also said the expected tonnages for sorghum and cowpeas are 35 000 and 7500 metric tonnes respectively. However, he said although they appreciate the shortage of maize in the country, there is a quota system in place to regulate grain imports to protect local farmers.

Morakaladi said local small farmers could assist in increasing the production of maize stock if assisted with inputs. Although government spends a lot of money on quality seeds for local farmers through the Integrated Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD), the problem could be the actual usage at farm level.

He indicated that the Board would sign contracts with farmers and off takers at the beginning of the ploughing season for supply and sale.

Meanwhile, the Board said it has put control and strict accounting measures in place to reduce risk of loss of stock.

This comes after the Board lost P10 million to stock theft and expired grain stock in the previous year. It has been reported that a 2015 audit discovered that more than 3,000 bags of sorghum (50kgs), especially the Panda sorghum, were stolen from Francistown and Mahalapye BAMB storages and taken to the millers between February 2012 and April 2013.

“We have put up measures in place to reduce the risk. We are installing CCTV’s in all our branches as part of managing the risk of stock theft,” he said. Goitsemodimo Kaelo

Correspondent

 

The Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) says it is currently importing maize after

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the Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) ran down on the maize grain’s stock.

The Board’s chief executive officer, Leonard Morakaladi explained that although the SGR, which is meant for food security purposes has currently exhausted the maize stock, there is sufficient stock for sorghum and beans to take the nation through until the next harvest.

The SGR target comprises 30 000 metric tonnes of sorghum and maize respectively and 10 000 metric tonnes of beans. The beans stock stands at 2000 metric tonnes.

He said Botswana generally remains a net importer of maize grain as millers continue to import grain from South Africa for human consumption and is meant to augment any shortfall in local supply. 

Morakaladi explained that the shortage is caused by unfavourable weather conditions in the country. Furthermore, Morakaladi stated that the country consumes 180 000-190 000 metric tonnes of maize annually.

“Local production of maize is around 20 000 metric tonnes annually against a demand of 180 000- 190 000 metric tonnes for consumption. Maize production is hampered by unfortunate weather conditions,” he said, adding that the expected tonnages of maize to be receive by end of August is 12 000 metric tonnes. 

He also said the expected tonnages for sorghum and cowpeas are 35 000 and 7500 metric tonnes respectively. However, he said although they appreciate the shortage of maize in the country, there is a quota system in place to regulate grain imports to protect local farmers.

Morakaladi said local small farmers could assist in increasing the production of maize stock if assisted with inputs. Although government spends a lot of money on quality seeds for local farmers through the Integrated Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD), the problem could be the actual usage at farm level.

He indicated that the Board would sign contracts with farmers and off takers at the beginning of the ploughing season for supply and sale.

Meanwhile, the Board said it has put control and strict accounting measures in place to reduce risk of loss of stock.

This comes after the Board lost P10 million to stock theft and expired grain stock in the previous year. It has been reported that a 2015 audit discovered that more than 3,000 bags of sorghum (50kgs), especially the Panda sorghum, were stolen from Francistown and Mahalapye BAMB storages and taken to the millers between February 2012 and April 2013.

“We have put up measures in place to reduce the risk. We are installing CCTV’s in all our branches as part of managing the risk of stock theft,” he said.



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