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Hope at last for P100 million MilkAfric project

The 2000 milking cow dairy takes shape

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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Botswana approves extradition of British fugitive

20th March 2023

Raiz Ahmed Tayub, a British fugitive sought by Interpol for his involvement in human trafficking and slave trade crimes, was captured by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) earlier this year.

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BOCRA detects new cyber attacks targeted at Botswana

20th March 2023

Government owned communications regulator, Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) recently detected several cyber-attacks targeted at national information and communications infrastructure, companies and home routers in this country.

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Malawi appeals for help over Cyclone Freddy at PAP

17th March 2023

As of yesterday evening, the death toll from the Cyclone in Malawi had risen from the initially reported 190 to 225 in a short period of time, over 20 000 people have been displaced, and the worst of fears are yet to come as the fatalities continue to mount. This was reported by a Malawi Member of Parliament attending the Pan African Parliament session in Midrand, South Africa, Hon Steven Mikiya.

Mikiya was giving a statement on behalf of Malawi as the ongoing Pan African Parliament in South Africa.

Mikiya said the Cyclone has wreaked the most havoc in our country’s Southern Region. “The Southern Region, has been hardest hit with widespread heavy rains and strong winds. This caused a rapid rise in water levels and subsequent flooding. Meanwhile, power supply has been disrupted, roads blocked off and rendered impassable and mudslides have also been widely reported,” he said.

He made a special appeal to the PAP:  “Where I come from, there is a parable which I would like to share with you which says, “mzako weniweni umamudziwa panthawi ya mavuto.” Simply put, a friend in need is a friend indeed or put loosely, a person who helps at a difficult time is a friend you can rely on.”

Mikiya continued: “Yes! Misfortune has knocked on our door and left in its wake a trail of death and destruction that may take years to fully recover from. However, amidst these difficulties, I have every reason to believe that sometimes when you are in a dark place and think you have been buried, you have actually been planted. My belief, Mr. President, arises out of my faith in this gathering and out of the conviction that it is not coincidental that Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi and Mozambique while the delegations of both countries are here.”

According to Mikiya, the level of destruction, the loss of life, property and the decimation of the entire fabric of established communities has been unprecedented. He noted that all this, is coming at a time when Malawi was starting to show signs of recovery from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that also came hard on the heels of Cyclone Ana and Cyclone Gombe that left a similar trail of devastation and destruction in Malawi and neighbouring countries.

As of Sunday, this week, from the 12th of March, Malawi and Mozambique have been facing the devastating effects of Cyclone Freddy that made a landfall over Mozambique on Saturday the 11th and reached Malawi by Sunday the 12th of March.

The Malawi legislator said he has absolute faith in the Pan African Parliament, which he described as “a league of nations brought together by a shared ancestry, history, identity as well as our beloved continent which we inhabit”.

Meanwhile, Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, has declared a State of Disaster in the affected areas effectively appealing for local and international support for the affected families.

Mikiya appealed to the Pan African Parliament drawing “positive” inspiration from Europe which rallied around Turkey after the destructive earthquakes to bring the much-needed relief and humanitarian aid to the people of Turkey.

He said Africa should demonstrate to the world that the African Union and its Organs are not mere talk shows, but effective institutions which stand up when it matters most.

“Alone, it may take us a lifetime to fully recover, but together, in the Pan-Africanist spirit of Ubuntu, our lives and livelihoods will return to a semblance of normality in record time. This is the time to live by our operative mantra, “One Africa, One Voice.” Mikiya concluded.

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