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Farmers fear bleak harvest ahead

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Farmers are facing a bleak harvest season following poor rainfalls which are likely to lead to stunted growth of crops in most parts of the country.

Last week the Business Trends met with farmers in Kanngwe who expressed their hopeless expectations to harvest this year. Masego Ofentse said she planted a 50 hectare field but two thirds of the crops have wilted due to extreme high temperatures. She planted maize, sorghum and black eye beans. “I am not going to get food from this field, almost all the crops have been affected by extreme heat therefore they failed to produce food.

This is a bad year for us,” said a downbeat Ofentse. Meanwhile, John Phirinyane planted 320 hactares of maize in an 800 hactare field but all the crops could not pollinate. “I planted a lower portion this year because I realised there is insufficient rainfall. All these crops in the field are not going to yield harvest, it’s a huge loss,” said Phirinyane.

Gofaone Mapitse ploughed 405 hacters in a 600 hactare field and he is expecting only 20 percent harvest from the field. He said this year he ploughed in lower ration due to lack of resources and insufficient rainfall.

“This year the banks could not give us loans because we still have arrears from last year. We are negotiating with the government to help us clear the arrears” Mapitse said last year the government paid 85 percent to banks and farmers only paid 15 percent but this year the government only gave them 30 percent.

Each year, government spends about P600 million on the agricultural inputs programme for citizen farmers and in the last four years about P800 million was spent on drought relief initiatives. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Patrick Ralotsia has told the media that experts are still finalising estimates of the harvest, but already they reckon farmers will get only 40 percent or less of what they planted this season. “Even more worrying is that major producing areas like Pandamatenga and Mosisedi have not been spared by the poor rains.

There was a time at the beginning of the season when we thought things would be good, but now if you see what’s happening across our districts, you would be quite shocked.Most of the crops planted are stunted and already showing signs of wilting,” said Ralotsia.

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6 Best Forex Trading Platforms for Botswana Traders

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Overview

A trading platform is software which is designed to be used for trading purposes. Whether it is the opening, closing, and managing market positions through a broker, which facilitates trades and connects Batswana traders to global markets.

For Batswana traders to get the most and best out of their trading, it is imperative to ensure that traders choose and use a trading platform which will provide the best, most dynamic trading experience and environment.

1.  AvaOptions

This is a proprietary and innovative trading platform developed by AvaTrade, one of the most popular Forex brokers in the industry.

With this trading platform, Batswana traders are provided with complete control over their portfolio. Traders have access to more than 40 Forex pairs and a variety of strategies, spreads, risk reversals, and more.

2.  MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 is one of the most used and popular trading platforms in the industry and offers the trade of Forex amidst other financial instruments.

MetaTrader 4 is free to use on desktop, web, and mobile platforms, and offers traders with a variety of options such as three execution modes, a variety of orders, 30 built-in technical indicators, 24 graphical objects, and more.

3.  MetaTrader 5

MetaTrader 5, an upgrade from MetaTrader 4, is an institutional, multi-asset and multi-functional trading platform.

MetaTrader 5 is free for desktop, web, and mobile use and features MQL5 language, comprehensive price analysis, algorithmic trading options, the ability to open 100 currency or stock charts simultaneously, 80 technical indicators, and more.

4.  cTrader

cTrader is a powerful desktop application which provides Batswana traders with a dynamic, and unique approach towards charting, manual and automatic/algorithmic trading.

cTrader has a user-friendly interface with a community featuring 1000s of indicators, trading robots, and documented educational material in addition to cloud data, 24/7 support, a hi-tech design, and Full STP trading, amidst numerous other functions.

5.  Thinkorswim

Thinkorswim is an innovation of TD Ameritrade which was launched in 2009 and has gained a substantial amount of popularity in recent years.

The trading platform offers traders with access to multiple assets including Forex, options, futures, ETFs, and stocks.

It is a desktop-based platform which offers free research, screening tools, real-time data, and numerous features including access to more than 400 technical studies, 8 Fibonacci tools, the ability to analyse option volumes, strategy back testing capabilities, and more.

6.  ZuluTrade

ZuluTrade is one of the most popular social trading platforms in the industry which is designed for use by all types of traders, from beginners to professionals.

It allows for customization, back testing of strategies, margin call metres, and more. It is one of the most trusted social trading platforms by both brokers and traders alike.

Final Thoughts

It is imperative that Batswana traders get the best from their trading, and to ensure that they are able to refine and improve their trading strategies, trading styles, and other aspects of trading.

It is therefore necessary that Batswana traders make use of the best broker suited for their needs in addition to a top-quality trading platform.

Open a FREE Trading Account here

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Gov’t swiftly acts on BMC

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Government has moved swiftly to place Botswana Meat Commission under the care of a management firm; the move is meant to put the Commission into shape both operationally and financially.

This was disclosed by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, further stating the BMC is technically insolvent despite having received nearly P1billion as a bailout in recent times. The new management company will run BMC, which is based in Lobatse starting on the 2020/2021 financial year.

The finance minister made it crystal clear that, the move to appoint a caretaker firm for BMC was made to protect the interests of all stakeholders, including farmers. According to Matsheka, the Minister of Agriculture Development and Food Security, Dr Edwin Dikoloti will provide more details on the BMC changes in due course during his committee of supply speech. Government is also proceeding with the conversion of BMC to a company under the Companies Act following the approval of BMC Transition Bill and subsequent repeal of the old Act.

The repealing of the BMC Act has since eliminated the monopoly of the Commission when it comes to beef and cattle export. The repeal has also enabled government to establish a beef regulator which will be responsible for regulating the beef and the cattle sector. “Another aspect of the transition is the ultimate privatization of BMC.

The objective of the privatization of BMC is, among others, to engage the private sector in the ownership and management of the BMC to achieve operational efficiency and profitability, as well as reduce Government’s future financial commitments in the entity. This would be an important process in the transformation of the beef and cattle sector,” noted Matsheka. BMC which is 100 percent owned by government has been operating with losses for many years due to internal and external challenges such as poor supply and Foot and Mouth Disease(FMD).

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