Gaborone – The Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) saw its income increase by 39 percent.
Informing the media on Dec. 3 to share the Q2 2019/2020 financial update and their expectations for the planting season, BAMB CEO M. he rose 32 percent.
He noted that sorghum was the biggest contributor in quantity and monetary value, followed by pulses.
“In this quarter, the monetary value of sorghum stands at 73 percent and a total of 87 percent of sorghum purchases,” he said.
Mr. Morakaladi further said that there had been 43% seed and food purchases in the central region as of November 29, 2019.
He said, however, that there had been a 77% drop in corn purchases due to the drought.
He also said that the BAMB aims to have an annual increase to fill the gap in national food production needs. ” he said.
He added that by signing the memorandum, they were working towards strengthening and empowering horticultural farmers and also establishing and implementing national agricultural production.
Mr. Morakaladi pointed out that BAMB had partnered with ISPAAD to ensure increased grain production, promote food security and commercial agriculture through technology.
“The estimated national cereal production for the last season was 66,093 tonnes, which is 22% of the national cereal needs and we believe we can do more,” he said.
In addition, Mr. Morakaladi said the BAMB signed the commodity prices and production contracts. He said that in May 2020 white corn would be sold for P2,000 and yellow corn for P 1900, with sunflower at P3 280.
He advised farmers in the Kgalagadi, Tswapong and Bobirwa region to plant beans and peanuts, and farmers in the southern region to plow maize.
Mr. Morakaladi also recommended the use of drought tolerant, short-season varieties.
The Director of Agronomy, Mr. Lambani Obuseng presented the “New News” application for farmers used for nutritional detection.
“With this app you take a photo of the crops and send it to the cloud which then recommends the right fertilizer to use for the crops,” he explained.
He said in the past, farmers would take crop leaves to the lab for testing and wait for recommendations to be made, which took time, hence the importance of the application.