'Is Botswana ready for the hard work in agriculture sector?'

A Japanese parliamentarian, Tadahiko Ito has said unless researchers became hands on in practical agricultural work Botswana faces the challenge of educating a nation without reaping tangible results.

While he lauded the efforts by the government of Botswana towards education, he expressed doubts as to whether the citizenry was ready to sweat and have its hands soiled, as the agriculture sector requires hard work. In addition, Ito, who was part of the Japanese high level delegation to this country that visited the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) at its temporary base in Oodi yesterday urged universities to have a rewarding partnership with industries. He also expressed concern at the level of brain drain and urged government to tighten its employment creation efforts so that young graduates educated elsewhere can come back to disseminate their acquired knowledge here.

At the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), a total of US$6.5 billion was channelled towards the acceleration of infrastructure development.This includes training 30,000 African people in industrial development, improving the learning environment for 20 million children through mathematics, science education and primary school management.  The other aspect of this initiative is to increase agricultural production and productivity, especially for rice cultivation, and to promote a 'farming as business' approach for 50,000 small farmers. "I hope that those trained will come back to serve here and extend the knowledge to benefit their countries," he said. Five Japanese Members of Parliament visited Botswana recently, as a follow-up to TICAD held in Japan in June this year. 

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