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NAPRO plant products hit the market

The National Agro-Processing plant (NAPRO) introduced its products to the consumer market for the first time last week on September 28th. The coming to life of the plant further gives hope to the resurgence of Selibe Phikwe, a town who star dimmed with the collapse of copper-nickel prices.

Daily Needs and Saverite supermarkets, local retail powerhouses in the Selibe Phikwe area were the first to stock the highly anticipated locally produced tomato source and according to NAPRO, the products were already off the shelves before Independence Day celebrations. The feed from customers was very positive.

However the processing entity which has been in operation for about half a year is still operating below capacity. In an interview this week, NAPRO senior management revealed that there is a lot of potential and that the progress of the plant will be monitored closely.

The Operations Manager, Mr Ramogoma Kaisara, revealed that setting up a fully equipped processing facility with required standards was an expensive and labour intensive undertaking.

According to Kaisara, most of their startup capital was consumed by transforming and upgrading the warehouse to the required standards of a processing facility.

“We had a challenge of starting from completely nothing, thus a huge part of our allocated funds were channeled to pre-production adjustments.  We had to convert an empty warehouse into a suitable working space, partitioning offices, and fitting the plant with world class processing equipment,” said Kaisara.

Kaisara further observed that they also had to provide on-the-job training for their most of their staff members and capacitate them further with processing skills thus affecting production schedule.

The National Agro Processing plant is an investment by the Botswana Government through the National Food Technology Research Center (NAFTRC) Investment Company.

 Its mandate is to increase the shelf life of locally produced horticultural products by processing them into finished products, such as sources, pickled canned meat and different packaging models. The Plant started operations on May 27th this year and has been experiencing production challenges from inception until the end of September

“We officially started processing end of May this year, from that time we had to observe our equipment, make further raw material  tests , and adjust to processing requisites that we only discovered  after production commencement,” said Kaisara.

The NAPRO team also revealed to this publication that the plant is currently operating below full capacity due to the stated production challenges. “At full peak, the plant should receive raw material of about 32.021 tones of tomato, but to date we are only able to process just about 60 % of that.”

The Operations Manager further emphasized that the plant has not yet experienced any shortage in provision of raw materials from local farmers. He observed that this contradicts reports that local farmers are incapable of feeding the processing plant with vegetables for it to realise full capacity production.

Kaisara said he was confident even at full capacity the plant will not run short of raw materials. “We have sufficient provision of raw materials, our local farmers here in Selibe Phikwe are supplying enough or even more than enough for our plant’s capacity.”

“In addition to that, we are certain that after the electrifying of Motloutse farms and commencement of farming at Thune irrigation schemes, we will have abundant supply of raw materials, which might even require us to expand our plant,”explained Kaisara.  

NAPRO NEEDS CAPITAL INJECTION

For her part, NAPRO Finance & Administration Manager,  Ms Kebareng Makome indicated that the financial figures of the plant as a company are not looking good. According to Makome, the funds allocated to the plant are depleting hence the need for more financial injection to help the plant realize full production to ensure it makes profits.

Makome was complementing statements made by Ms Metlha Mangwane, the Sales & Marketing Manager, to the effect that NAPRO has rigorous strategies drawn up to penetrate the market, but currently could not implement those due to budgetary constraints.

Mangwane explained that her team is in talks with retail giants such as Choppies, Pick n Pay and others at group headquarters level to woo them ‘into absorbing their products.

DailyNeeds and Saverite are resident retailers in Selibe Phikwe hence it was easy to reach out to them.  The Bobonong Cooperative Society retail outlet also started selling the products this week.  

 

STRATEGIC LOCATION AT SPEDU REGION

The processing project, which is strategically positioned in the SPEDU region, was financed by Office of the President.  Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi visits the plant from time to time alongside the troubled BCL mine.

The Vice President was quoted earlier this year at Serowe Agricultural Show expressing high expectations for the investment. NAPRO processes onions to canned pickled, fully nurtured tomatoes to tomato source; and different vegetables to canned pickled achar amongst other products.

According to the Public Relations Officer, Mr Keontse Mothibedi, the company is optimistic that after achieving full peak production capacity, the plant will venture into different agreements like packaging and branding for retail outlets which will assist them penetrate the market and build consumer confidence.

The company expects to start receiving quantifiable sales proceeds by December 2016 and from that time, the finance department will be in position to compile a proposal after considering financial projections.

According to the NAPRO team, they need more cash to help the plant attain profitability and autonomously run itself as a profit making entity.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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Global CEOs Back Plan to Unlock $3.4 Trillion Potential of Africa Free Trade Area

23rd January 2023

African heads of state and global CEOs at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting backed the launch of the first of its kind report on how public-private partnerships can support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa outlines high-potential sectors, initiatives to support business and investment, operational tools to facilitate the AfCFTA, and illustrative examples from successful businesses in Africa to guide businesses in entering and expanding in this area.

The report aims to provide a pathway for global businesses and investors to understand the biggest trends, opportunities and strategies to successfully invest and achieve high returns in Africa, developing local, sub-regional and continental value chains and accelerating industrialization, all of which go hand in hand with the success of the AfCFTA.

The AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world, by area and number of participating countries. Once fully implemented, it will be the fifth-largest economy in the world, with the potential to have a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion. Conceived in 2018, it now has 54 national economies in Africa, could attract billions in foreign investment, and boost overseas exports by a third, double intra-continental trade, raise incomes by 8% and lift 50 million people out of poverty.

To ease the pain of transition to its new single market, Africa has learned from trade liberalization in North America and Europe. “Our wide range of partners and experience can help anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions in business and production dynamics,” said Børge Brende, President, and World Economic Forum. “The Forum’s initiatives will help to ease physical, capital and digital flows in Africa through stakeholder collaboration, private-public collaboration and information-sharing.”

Given the continent’s historically low foreign direct investment relative to other regions, the report highlights the sense of excitement as the AfCFTA lowers or removes barriers to trade and competitiveness. “The promising gains from an integrated African market should be a signal to investors around the world that the continent is ripe for business creation, integration and expansion,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Regional Agenda, Africa, World Economic Forum.

The report focuses on four key sectors that have a combined worth of $130 billion and represent high-potential opportunities for companies looking to invest in Africa: automotive; agriculture and agroprocessing; pharmaceuticals; and transport and logistics.

“Macro trends in the four key sectors and across Africa’s growth potential reveal tremendous opportunities for business expansion as population, income and connectivity are on the rise,” said Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat.

“These projections reveal an unprecedented opportunity for local and global businesses to invest in African countries and play a vital role in the development of crucial local and regional value chains on the continent,” said Landry Signé, Executive Director and Professor, Thunderbird School of Global Management and Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Regional Action Group for Africa.

The Forum is actively working towards implementing trade and investment tools through initiatives, such as Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, to align with the negotiation process of the AfCFTA. It identifies areas where public-private collaboration can help reduce barriers and facilitate investment from international firms.

About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme, Cooperation in a Fragmented World. It calls on world leaders to address immediate economic, energy and food crises while laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world. For further information,

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