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€¨
This week’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting held at State House chaired by Party President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, turned into a ‘boardroom brawl’ with Masisi expressing concerns and accusing central committee members of not adequately shielding him from opposition missiles.
The meeting which was held on Monday this week was to deliberate on a number of agenda items but the President took the moment to tongue lash his inner circle to stop silly PR blunders that are causing more harm than good. The reprimand was mostly directed to party Secretary General Mpho Balopi as well as Chairman of Communications and International Relations sub-committee, Kagelelo Banks Kentse.
It took the intervention of the Permanent Secretary to the President, Elias Magosi to arrest a dispute between the warring Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), by instructing the former to hand over the unfinished P100 billion docket to the latter.
But the PSP’s efforts are not enough, the two institutions are back in the boxing ring again following a letter from the DPP inviting the DCEC back into a case they long declared as “hogwash”. A savingram dated 18th January 2021 from the DPP to the DCEC is calling on the DCEC to assist with further evidence in the P100 billion case, but the DCEC which has never hidden its indifference posits that the move by the DPP can be summed up by the expressions: ‘opening healing wounds’.
A fed-up Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Director General, Tymon Katlholo has come out guns blazing over an order from the Director of the Directorate of Public
Prosecutions (DPP), Stephen Tiroyakgosi instructing the DCEC, to solicit a statement from the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and ruling party Member of Parliament for Mochudi East, Mabuse Pule, regarding the role he played in the issuance of Whelheminah Maswabi’s intelligence operations passport.