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Botswana’s import ban on agricultural products bears fruit: President

Mokgweetsi Masisi
Mokgweetsi Masisi

Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said that the country’s decision to prohibit imports of some vegetables and fruits is bearing fruit.

“No nation can stand proud if it cannot feed itself,” said Masisi on Monday while delivering the State of the Nation Address before next year’s elections in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. He highlighted that their goal remains to achieve food security through a sustainable, technology-driven, and financially competitive agriculture industry.

Masisi said the intervention has resulted in the decline of the fresh produce import bill from 634 million pula (about 47.2 million U.S. dollars) in 2018 to 182 million pula in 2023, which amounts to a 71 percent reduction.

On Jan. 1, 2022, the southern African country imposed a two-year ban on the import of specific vegetables, including tomatoes, carrots, beetroot and potatoes, in an effort to promote national food security by increasing local vegetable production and improving horticulture competitiveness.

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