The American sponsored MilkAfric dairy farm project envisaged for Boswela Tlou near Lobatse finally gets a lease of life as 24 team members comprising of officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and community members will this month fly to the US for a 12 month training programme to ready for the project.
MilkAfric has established a Jersey x Holstein (J × H) crossbreed for the Lobatse Dairy so as to establish an offspring calf with superior qualities to their parents like production, fertility and longevity. The sponsors of the project believe crossbreeding is the most profitable breeding strategy and is about herd improvement not breed improvement.
MilkAfric is an initiative by the Botswana Investment Trade Centre (BITC) and Botswana’s then Ambassador to the US, Tebelelo Seretse. The idea is to bring investors to Botswana, particularly Lobatse. Contacted for comment, Seretse expressed delight at the fact that the project was now taking off.
She said there were a number of regulations that had to be satisfied hence the project was delayed. She however cautioned that regulations need to be streamlined and expedited to ensure that potential investors are not frustrated by bureaucratic bottlenecks. She said the MilkAfric project will add significant value to the country’s economy. She anticipates a lot of jobs to be created and many mouths to be fed.
According to Seretse, the investment in the new factory represents their belief and passion for local market and its potential growth. She said that MilkAfric could target all the consumers of milk and dairy products hence satisfy the national demand for milk.â€¨â€¨Seretse said the project will contribute to the country’s food security, particularly in nutrition and health, as well as infrastructural development of Botswana first tow.
“I am excited that MilkAfric will add a competitive advantage to Botswana – it is imperative that Botswana is competitive in the dairy industry,” said Seretse.
MilkAfric (Pty) Ltd, registered as a Botswana company is constructing a 2000 milking cow dairy in Boswela Tlou and will employ hundreds of locals at its dairy operations. Trainees for the project will undergo a one year extensive hands-on training in the US, and must be willing to stay on farm-staff housing.
MilkAfric intends to become the nation’s largest raw milk producer and distributor in Botswana, offering fresh milk and home delivery. The company signed a ground breaking Private Public Partnership (PPP) agreement with the Lobatse Town Council in 2013. â€¨â€¨In addition to the dairy products, MilkAfric is expected to bring to the Botswana market a 2 000 milking cow dairy.
The company will also establish an Out Grower Net programme that incorporates smallholder farmers into the value chain and will bring significant structural and financial development to the town of Lobatse and the surrounding villages. Internships and training for livestock and dairy management will also be offered by MilkAfric, and the company will kick start by employing over hundred people.â€¨â€¨Over 1000 milk herds and other breeds, such as jersey, which have high fat content, are expected to come from the USA.
The herds will mostly be coming from Texas which is said to have similar climatic conditions to those of Botswana. â€¨â€¨Lobatse Town Council has entered into a twenty five years renewable lease agreement with MilkAfric. The land where the project is allocated is an unserviced land.â€¨â€¨
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.