NFTRC at Global Expo 2017
National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) exhibited at the just ended Global Expo Botswana (GEB), under the theme ‘Unlocking Business Opportunities for Economic Growth.’
The Centre exhibited a range of prototypes ready for commercialisation with a bias towards canned beans products. The bias is part of NFTRC’s efforts to address the current post-harvest losses and lack of market issues bedevilling the product.
Meanwhile, NFTRC Acting Managing Director, Dr Kebakile participated in one of the panel discussions that ran concurrently with the Expo under the topic: How can Botswana entrepreneurs be motivated to consider venturing into primary agricultural production for sustainable food security?
Dr Kebakile said Botswana must have a robust entrepreneurship training programme aimed at empowering the youth to venture into agricultural businesses.
He added that a platform that identifies young champions must be set up to motivate the youth and drive them to interact and benchmark on agricultural issues, adding that the youth need mind-set change about agricultural businesses.
He said for that to happen they must be helped to start seeing agripreneurship as a source of food, income and employment, with good or modern infrastructures (roads, telephones, and internet) provided at the farms.
The Expo was officially opened by the Vice President Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi and the guest speaker was Sir Richard Branson, a British business tycoon and founder of Virgin Group.
Mr Masisi said GEB was conceptualised to help the country meet its objectives of attracting both domestic and foreign direct investment.
“Therefore let us go together on this journey with honest exchange of ideas and intentions and let us get to business and our business as government is to get out of the way to let you work and use us to move forward, use us to unlock unnecessary bureaucratic red tapes,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sir Richard Branson urged local investors to think globally and called on foreign investors to invest in Botswana because it continues to revive growth by improving its investment conditions.
The Expo was also spiced up by fashion and designer exhibitions that allowed locals to exhibit their designs and models.
GEB was graced by exhibitors from Mozambique, Ghana, Sweden, Zimbabwe, India, Nigeria, Portugal, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Namibia, Pakistan, South Africa and Malawi.