SELEBI-PHIKWE: The minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Nonofho Molefhi has appealed to Botshabelo ward residents to start commercial farming to benefit from the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) announced recently.
Speaking at Botshabelo Kgotla meeting on Wednesday, Molefhi, who is also the area MP, said that it was vital for locals to start investing in commercial farming and producing food for the country.
He said that the stimulus package also aims at empowering locals to start their own businesses hence they can take advantage and start commercial farming.
“Part of economic stimulus package is that locals will be empowered to produce food locally,” he said.
Molefhi said that it is disappointing that Botswana is still importing food from other countries something that can be done here locally.
He said that the government uses close to P1 billion to buy food for Botswana Defence Force, Police College, hospitals and schools. He said that if locals could produce food they would also benefit. The minister said that the government is willing to give local farmers first priority to supply food for these departments.
He also urged residents to avoid the tendency of not disclosing the number of cattle they own. He also said that farmers who sell their cattle to butcheries and Botswana Meat Commission are expected to pay four percent income tax.
“A farmer who will be taxed is the one who sells cattle that give him P36,000 income but if the money is less than P36,000, the four percent tax he has been charged in every sale he makes will be returned to him,” he said.
Molefhi also urged residents to avoid selling plots allocated to them. He said that there are many ways that residents can use the plots for instead of selling them. He said that it is disturbing that residents always complain of shortage of land but when given the plots they end up selling them.
“Locals always complain that they cannot carry out projects because of shortage of land but when allocated plots they hire or even sell the plots,” he said.
He also told residents the ESP initiative will also ensure that each contractor or company benefits from tenders.
“Companies or contractors will not be awarded more than one tender while there are some companies that have not be given tenders. ESP will ensure that every one benefits,” he said.