Barclays Bank To Be On NFTRC`s Friends List
National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last week hosted three officers from Barclays Bank, Botswana head office in Gaborone to discuss possible partnership opportunities between the two.
The team comprised of the Regional Manager (SME Banking) Mr Rapula Leepile, Head of Public Sector Ms Gaba Sekwakwa and Senior Relationship Manager Mr Latelang Ralebala.
Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile briefed the team about the centre, its mandate and its spin off company National Agro Processing Plant (NAPro).
Ms Sekwakwa said the visit was set to look for partnership opportunities and to come up with support that suits the centre.
She said it is pleasing that NFTRC has not shied away from the fight against the country`s high import bill and promote food security.
The Acting Director Research and Development, Dr Bernard Bulawayo shared challenges that NFTRC and NAPro are facing and requested the bank to help the entrepreneurs cross ‘the commercialisation valley of death’ – (challenges faced by those wanting to commercialise).
He said since its inception in 2016, NAPro was faced with commercialisation valley of death and the only thing that made it survive was the management`s hard work, hope and patience therefore the sales growth was only noticed from February 2017.
He requested the team to convince their superiors to have a long term view of relationships, to try and invest in technology appraisal tools and insure the product life.
The visitors were impressed with the centre`s laboratories.
Ms Sekwakwa summed up that as Batswana they understand where NFTRC comes from, as they have seen it evolve from its humble beginnings as Food Technology Research Services, under the then Botswana Technology Centre, adding she is therefore humbled by its progress.