Vice President Slumber Tsogwane has commended Pandamatenga commercial farmers for their contribution to the national annual crop production.
Speaking at the official opening of the Chobe Agricultural Show held in Pandamatenga over the weekend, Tsogwane revealed that the production records presented by the Ministry of Agriculture indicate that Pandamatenga alone contributes around 47% to the national annual crop production.
He stated that this remarkable achievement can only be earned through hard work, commitment and perseverance as such efforts of farmers in the Pandamatenga region are indeed commendable.
Meanwhile Agriculture minister Fidelis Molao also commended Pandamatenga farmers for their relentless efforts to produce at an impressive rate even when faced with myriad of challenges. He revealed that for over the last three years, 2020-2023, there has been an increasing trend for production of horticultural products from 4880 tonnes in 2020/21 to 12171.33 tonnes.
“I applaud you for this increase, however the production of cereals and legumes, paint a totally different picture, 2019/2020 season had a total production of 93 446.08 tonnes, 2020/2021 production stood at 43 302.45 tonnes, whilst 2021/22 production was 81997.70 tonnes,” he said.
For his part, Pandamatenga Farmers Association Chairman Jaco Strachan stated that despite unfavorable weather conditions and all other weather challenges, Pandamatenga farmers planted over 40, 000 hectares and managed to produce a significant amount of grain for the country.
Strachan stated that the farmers planted about 14 000 hectares of sorghum,11 000 hectares of sunflower and almost 4 000 hectares of mung beans, followed by 20 000 hectares used to plant cowpeas, chickpeas, wheat, maize, millet, soybeans and sugar beans. According to him, more than 3 000 jobs were also created during the course of the season.
According to him, most of the crops grown by the farmers in Pandamatenga are produced for the nation particularly cereals (like wheat, sorghum and maize) while few crops like (chickpeas and mung beans) are exported due to limited market.
Held under the theme “Unity and Technology for Chobe, filling the Botswana Food Basket” the show was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Pandamatenga Farmers Association while CEDA and NBD were the main sponsors.