Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) recorded total operational sales of P267, 7 million in the financial year 2014/15.
Indicated in its recently released 2014/15 financial report, this is a 34.7 percent growth from the previous operational sales of P198, 7 million. BAMB, which derives its revenue from sale of goods and management fees for the strategic grain reserve, saw its total revenue for the year grow from P209, 8 million to P278, 6million for the reporting period.
The marketing board led by Edison Wotho, who is former Permanent Secretary in the agriculture ministry, purchased a total of 34,104metric tonnes of grain in the immediate past harvesting season. Pulses increased by 2000 metric tonnes from the previous year, while there was a significant drop in sorghum and maize purchases as a result of drought.
“This year for the first time, pulses became the major contributor for the year at 21 percent followed by sorghum at 19 percent. Sorghum has been relegated to second place as a result of low purchases from millers. During the reporting period a lot of Millers closed shop due to financial constraints,” reads the report. Sorghum relegated from 70.7 percent in 2013/14, whilst pulses saw a hike from 5.44 percent in 2013/14 reporting period.
Sunflower constituted to 15 percent whilst maize was trailing at the bottom at 10 percent in 2014/15. The major reason for lower purchases of sorghum during this reporting period was that a lot of millers closed shop due to financial constraints, says the report. Agricultural inputs contributed only 35 percent to total sales during the reporting period.
Cell City rewards customers
Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.
In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.
All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.
“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.
“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.
Smecha chillie hits the shelves
For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.
She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.
She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae
The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.
She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.
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