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2015-11-27 - NFTRC at the MYSC Open Day


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last week showcased its products and services at the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) Open Day.


The Open Day, held under the theme: Our Youth, our Future Young Millionaires, was a platform for the ministry to showcase its products and services as well as interact with its customers.


It was also a chance for the ministry to let Batswana know its mandate and projects for youth, culture and sports.


The guest speaker, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Lewis Malikongwa said the ministry sees the need to take its services and programmes closer to the people hence the event .


Mr Malikongwa said the mandate of the ministry is to assist the youth to venture into businesses by developing their entrepreneurship skills as well as character.


He said as the theme states, the ministry has come up with the Youth Development Fund (YDF) which has benefitted youth around the country.


It is however apparent that Kanye youth are not taking advantage of the programme, which is one of the reasons why the ministry decided to host the event in Kanye.


Mr Malikongwa sais the government has noticed that youth are not able to start their own businesses because of lack of operating space, hence the ministry is working with landboards to assist the youth with plots.


He also revealed that the ministry is renovating operational spaces throughout the country and in Kanye.


He encouraged youth to take advantage of all government initiatives, adding that if they are reluctant, the expected number of millionaires would not be reached.




2015-11-27 - NFTRC makes mark at Global Expo


After a six year absence National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) is attending this year's Global Expo.


The world class expo which is held at the Botswana Conference and Exhibition Centre in Gaborone, started on Wednesday and will end on Saturday.


Held under the theme "Promoting economic diversification through export-oriented foreign direct investment and domestic expansions," the expo promotes opportunities for business to business exchanges.


NFTRC is looking to explore new market opportunities and takers for its products and services which are key for economic diversification, job creation and food security.


NFTRC Public Relations Manager Ms Thatayaone M Kepaletswe said Global Expo is a prestigious event, which attracts all key stakeholders which means the Centre has to pull all the stops and put 'its best foot      forward'.


Ms Kepaletswe said every NFTRC department is presented to make  maximum impact.


She said NFTRC's presence would also afford it a chance to network and exchange ideas with organisations that may sponsor people to take up its technologies.




2015-11-22 - NFTRC imparts skills


The Department of Extension and Training last week held the last fruits and vegetable processing training for the year, with 15 participants from various parts Botswana.


Senior Research Scientist at Extension and Training,  Ms Annah-Nkwe Mosele, who was officiating at the graduation ceremony  said NFTRC is in the process of setting-up test beds, which will give trainees a chance to test their products in the market.


Ms Mosele said test beds are advantageous as entrepreneurs will be working under the supervision of NFTRC experts when using them.


 Senior Research Scientist at Food Chemistry Department Mr Juda Bogopa said by  choosing to come to NFTRC for food processing training, the trainees had taken a step into Vision 2016.


He said they should make NFTRC proud by availing their products in the market, adding that when their products are at the market, NFTRC is the market.


He encouraged trainees to always contact NFTRC if and when they encounter problems along the way.


Trainee’s representative Mr Mogae Jongman applauded NFTRC for a warm reception throughout their week-long stay at the Centre.


The training covered food safety, processing of watermelon jam and juice, mixed vegetable pickle and drying of onions.






2015-11-22 - Chinese Ambassador hands over Kanngwe agriculture project


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on 17 November 2015, attended the handover of Kanngwe Agriculture Project by the Chinese Ambassador to Botswana His Excellency Zheng Zhuiqang.


The project to de-bush a 40-hectare farm, was done under the theme “China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action”


When officially handing over the project, Mr Zhuqiang said “China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action”, is an initiative launched by the Chinese government in 2013, with aim of encouraging non-governmental organisations from China and Africa to develop exchanges and cooperation.


He said the initiative has already supported five local projects in Botswana, adding that they chose agriculture because its development is one of the key priorities in Botswana’s development strategy.


He said the ceremony was a testimony of a profound friendship between Botswana and China and wished the project a success and Kanngwe village a bright future.


Acting Minister of Agriculture Mr Kgotla Autlwetse applauded the Chinese people and government for their continued support to the development of Botswana.


Mr Autlwetse encouraged farmers to use the de-bushed hectarage to plough this year, arguing that it will encourage Chinese government to do more.


 He encourage the farmers to de-bush the remaining portion as “letsema le thata ka mong wa lone”.


Bangwaketse Paramount Chief, Kgosi Malope II extended his sincere gratitude to the Chinese ambassador for helping his people.


He encouraged residents of Kanngwe to use the cleared area to produce food. 


The projects was funded to the tune of P256 000.00.


NFTRC showcased some of its products and services and sensitise farmers about agro-processing.




2015-10-30 - Ralotsia meets and greets NFTRC staff


The Minister of Agriculture Mr Patrick Pule Ralotsia this week stopped over at National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) to meet and greet staff as well as familiarise himself with what the organisation is about.


In his welcome remarks, the Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile appreciated the visit, saying after the brief visit, the Minister would be in a position to speak with authority about NFTRC.


Dr Kebakile requested the Minister to assist NFTRC to deliver by availing funds for both human capital and other resources.


In response, Minister Ralotsia said he had just come to meet and greet staff and see what they are doing at NFTRC.


He said he had however, noted the concerns raised and will take it upon himself to take them to the relevant authorities and resolved soonest as some are long overdue.


He was taken on a guided tour of NFTRC laboratories where he saw first-hand what is done, which he said was very impressive.


The Minister was accompanied by his Private Secretary, Ms Miriam Munamava.




2015-10-30 - The roving torch reaches Gangwaketse


Bangwaketse on Tuesday received the roving torch at the Main Kgotla.


It was received from Polokwe Headmen by the Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Mr Patrick Pule Ralotsia who then handed it to Kgosi Malope II.


Kgosi Malope said it was a jubilant moment for Bangwaketse.


The Chairperson of BOT 50, Ms Charity Kgotlafela said the torch symbolises light to the nation and likened it to a thread that is sewing Batswana together with love, peace and happiness, to celebrate what Botswana has achieved so far regardless of the challenges.


The torch, which will be in Kanye until October 30th, is expected to go around different wards and historic places before proceeding to Gasegwagwe.


The event was spiced with different activities, one of them being the parade where National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) took part.


As preparations for Botswana’s up-coming golden jubilee independence celebrations, BOT 50, the committee responsible for organising the 50th Independence Day celebration has promised Batswana greatest celebrations ever and has urged Batswana to take ownership and be part of the event.


To try to get all people involved in this upcoming event, there would be a roving torch that intends to build up for the 2016 independence celebrations and it would traverse the width and breadth of this country before returning to Gaborone for the 2016 Independence Celebrations.


The torch was lit and launched on 30 September 2015 by His Excellency the President which he said would serve as a national symbol of prosperity and hope for Batswana as they move towards their 50th year of independence.


The President pledged on behalf of all Batswana that as they go forward, they should recommit to the core values and principles of Democracy, Unity, Development and Self Reliance that have guided this great Republic since Independence, adding that they should keep the flames of these commitments burning so that they continue to be the “Educated, Prosperous, Democratic, Compassionate, Safe, Tolerant, United, and Proud Nation” they have been renowned for.




2015-10-23 - World Food Day Commemorated


Multitudes descended on Phohushadi Farm on October 16, to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in an event held under the theme: Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the cycle of rural poverty.


The main goal of the event, World Food Day was to raise public awareness about hunger challenges and encourage people to join the fight against it. 


In his keynote address, the Chief Executive Officer of Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), Mr Thabo Thamane said the government has come up with organisations such as his to assist Batswana to set up their own businesses and create employment for themselves and others as hunger is nobody’s culture.


Mr Thamane therefore urged his audience to stand up to make a meaningful contribution towards improving their livelihoods.


He called on all to introspect on their contribution to the fight against hunger.


Mr Thamane said CEDA has so far loaned out millions of Pula to assist Batswana, calling on all to have the spirit of business that would make their lives much better.


He said the theme for this year is appropriate because the government continues to come up with initiatives to break the cycle of poverty amongst Batswana, adding that some of the exhibitions show that indeed  Batswana want to eradicate poverty in rural areas.


The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Patrick Pule Ralotsia said the government is very serious about agriculture as it assists farmers throughout the country more especially those in rural areas to produce food.


Mr Ralotsia said the theme is about social protection which is not only important to take people out of poverty in the short term, but also encourage them to produce food for long term to reduce poverty and well as diversify the economy.


He said the government has come up with initiatives to eradicate poverty, which should not be passed on to the next generation.


He encouraged Batswana to work hard to sustain whatever they are doing to improve their lives and fight hunger.


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) went along to not only lend support but showcase some of its products and services and to lure participants into food processing.




2015-10-23 - Dr Mothupi applauds SHE Committee


Human Resources and Administration Manger, Dr Vincent Mothupi has applauded the National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) Safety Health and Environment (SHE) committee for striving to implement the SHE activities.


Speaking during a certificates handover event on Tuesday, Dr Mothupi said Occupational Health and Safety is key in every working environment.


He expressed the hope that the now trained committee members would fast track SHE activities at NFTRC.


He commended the SHE Coordinator, Mr Juda Bogopa for not throwing in the towel, when SHE only existed in name without a budget .


Dr Mothupi said Juda had a vision of where he wanted to see SHE going and he stayed the course.


He also applauded the committee members and urged them to guard life and NFTRC property.


He said his hope is that the committee would use the skills they have acquired to be the ears and eyes of NFTRC in terms of safety.




2015-10-09 - Independence celebrations


There was joy and pomp galore as Batswana celebrated the country's 49th birthday.


Bangwaketse were not to be left behind as they flocked the village main kgotla for the festivities, proudly    donning the blue, black and white colours and waving Botswana flag.


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) also joined in the festivities such as the parade.


The Centre also exhibited its products and services.


This year’s celebrations were regarded as a precursor to the 50th anniversary next year.


The District Commissioner, Ms Segomotso Nkoane kicked off the official side of the event by reading the Presidential message, which highlighted that Independence Day gives Batswana an opportunity not only to celebrate the past but to collectively consider the path that stood before them.


Still in the speech, the president said it is important to continue to focus on priorities such as accelerated job creation, improved water supply and management as well as overcoming delays in transitioning from an energy deficit to surplus nation.


He urged Batswana to pay tribute to the generation of visionaries who launched the republic by upholding the ideals that have since served the country well. 


In appreciating their legacy he said Batswana should recommit themselves to following in their footsteps in building a better Botswana for generations to come.


The president also appealed to Batswana to continue to embrace the principles of democracy, unity, development and self-reliance as well as the culture of botho in their journey towards prosperity for all.


In his remarks the guest speaker, former President Sir Ketumile Masire, applauded Bangwaketse for developing their village which is now lively and beautiful.


Sir Ketumile said the village is appealing and people have started to enjoy working  in it, which would reduce migration to towns and cities.


He encouraged residents to continue working hard so that other tribes would desire to emulate them.


He also encouraged Bangwaketse to work hand-in-hand with government in whatever it takes to take Botswana to higher levels, adding that Batswana are known to have done everything for themselves to develop their country.


He said he was impressed by the parade of different organisations, adding that some people would take this for granted, but it means a lot as it showed what the organisations are doing for the village.


Sir Ketumile was thankful for the invitation, which he said showed that his tribesmen had not forgotten him even after his retirement.




2015-10-09 - NFTRC visits


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on Tuesday received two batches of visitors who came to appreciate what the organisation is all about.


The first batch was Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) final year students studying ELB 413: Cereal Science and Technology.


The main objective of the visit was to appreciate the Cereal Laboratory equipment which includes a dehuller, stone mill, sifter and a packing machine.


The students said they were pleased with the reception and information they received from NFTRC, adding that they achieved the objectives of their visit.


Meanwhile a team of four from BioFISA Project, led by the Acting SANBio Network Manager, Dr Ereck Chakauya also made a whistlestop at NFTRC.


Their main interest was to appreciate government support of NFTRC programmes, activities and facilities.


Dr Boitumelo Motswagole gave an overview of NFTRC and the visit ended with tour of NFTRC facilities.






2015-10-02 - Happy birthday Botswana


September 30th 2015 is Botswana’s 49th year of independence and this means a great deal to Batswana.


Just like in the past, Batswana celebrated the day with different activities throughout the country.


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was also not left behind as it joined other parastatals, government departments, private companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the community at Kanye Main Kgotla to celebrate.


NFTRC was part of a parade and exhibit its products and services.


NFTRC staff members, who spoke to the Weekly Bulletin about the significance of Independence Day, were of the opinion that Botswana has transformed dramatically into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.  This they said is evidenced by the infrastructures, roads and many Batswana graduates.


They said Independence Day is the time to reflect on the achievements and challenges of the country as well as their own and map the way  forward.


Viola said as a young Motswana, she prides herself to be celebrating  Independence Day and this would also be an opportunity for her to interact with friends and relatives whom she rarely see.


Moremi said he would be among his tribesmen at Mmathubudukwane kgotla where they will be gathered to celebrate the Independence Day. 


He said different activities will take place and entertainment would be dikwaere, poems and traditional dancing.


Kago said he will spend the day with the family in Molepolole where they will have a special meal and later join his friends where the vibe will be high.


Mokgano said he will be with the elderly men at Kgano ward where they would have a great feast of meat and traditional beer,                         


adding that thereafter he will go to the cattlepost and release the herdboy so he can also enjoy the celebrations.


Mogomotsi said he will be in Mmadinare spending quality time with family members and later go to the cattlepost to assist with the branding of cattle.


While Boingotlo said she will be in Mahalapye with family members preparing for her mother’s 65th birthday party which is on the Independence Day.




2015-09-25 - NFTRC attend LEA road show and Market day in Lobatse


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on Friday, 18 September 2015 participated at the    Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) road show and market day in Lobatse.


The event, which was organised by Ramotswa LEA branch was held under the theme: “Stakeholder collaboration - a strategic way to successful entrepreneurship development and sustainable enterprises”.


It featured exhibitions from LEA registered clients and other Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise Businesses (SMMEs).


The objectives of the event was to continue communicating the new LEA strategy (2014-2017) and affirming the LEA brand presence amongst Batswana, to strengthen relationships between LEA and its various stakeholders within and outside the region and to give LEA assisted clients and other participating SMMEs an opportunity to sell their products and services.


NFTRC showcased its services and products at the event.




2015-09-25 - NFTRC donates books to excelling students


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was on Wednesday among stakeholders at Logaba   Primary School in Kanye celebrating students’        academic achievement.


The event was held under the theme: “Teacher Stakeholder Partnership: Key to Academic Excellence”.


The objectives of the event was to establish a sense of trust in learners and teachers on their environment; to instil a spirit of competition amongst learners and teachers in order to improve performance and  to motivate learners of different levels to perform to their utmost ability as well to facilitate teacher, learner, parent and authority relationship.


Logaba Primary School just like any other learning entity in Botswana is challenged to empower students for educational excellence to take Botswana to upper levels.  Thus the school is trying its level best to satisfy the students’ needs so that they could produce excellent results which are envisaged by all involved stakeholders; students, teachers, parents and the community.


The school results have improved dramatically since 2009 ranging between 75% and 78% pass rate through the years, but the aim is to reach more than 80 % pass rate in the coming years.


The guest speaker, Director of Maranatha School of Excellence, Dr Serara Moahi said the results of the school evidently shows that when all stakeholders are working together they can achieve academic excellence and encourage the students to continue working hard to achieve better.


Dr Moahi said the theme suggest to teachers that every single child who enters the gate of the school has a God-given talent which needs to be nurtured in order to mould him/her to be a developed person of any calibre.


She thus said champions do not win a race in a twinkle of an eye; they take time and strength to reach their goals.  She encouraged students to hold on and improve gradually.


She encouraged those who did not receive prizes to try their best to achieve as well in future as the world holds plenty of opportunities for them.


At the end NFTRC presented books to    students who performed well in Mathematics and Science from Standard One to Standard Seven classes.






2015-09-25 - NFTRC participates at the business information training




National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was this week Wednesday, amongst stakeholders that present at the business information training event, held at the Kanye Public Library.


Kanye Public Library Librarian, Ms Connie Setshwaelo said the event was an opportunity for stakeholder organisations in human development to impart information on business opportunities available, mentorship, training, support and funding to the members of the public.


Ms Setshwaelo said they discovered that some members of the public visit the library all year long seeking jobs or business opportunities on newspapers and social media without any lead and that the business information training would make a great difference.


She said they plan to on organise events of this nature more often.  


NFTRC was represented by Assistant Public Relations Officer, Mr Keontse Mothibedi who gave an overview of NFTRC and business opportunities availed by its ready for take up prototypes.


Keontse also encouraged members of the public take advantage of NFTRC’s test-beds when they become available to entrepreneurs. 




2015-08-14 - NFTRC at National Agricultural Show


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was among stakeholders exhibiting its products and services as well as pursuing interested clients to    venture into food processing business at the just    ended National Agricultural Show. 


The show is part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s   efforts to reach out to it stakeholders.


 The show, held under the theme: Practicing Smart Agriculture to Combat the Effects of Climate Change, ran from 03-08 August 2015.


The theme was a clarion call to farmers to adopt farming practices that mitigate the negative effects of climate change, because the agricultural sector cannot be allowed to collapse as it sustains the livelihoods of  Batswana.


To ensure the sector does not collapse, the Ministry of Agriculture promotes conservation agriculture and other sustainable farming methods such as developing plant varieties and livestock breeds that can withstand local conditions.


Meanwhile, a number of show goers who visited the NFTRC stall were interested in information on processing as evidenced by their questions as well as filling in the request forms for training.


NFTRC also conducted pork sausage sensory.


A good number of people said they were impressed with the sausage, adding that it tasted better than the ones which are already in the market and felt that it should be in the market soonest.


When officially opening the show, President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama thanked all the  exhibitors, particularly farmers for their loyalty to the show irrespective of ravaging drought.


The President also officially opened the Debswana Mining Company sponsored judging ring and the Stanbic bank sponsored cattle kraals.




2015-08-14 - Vision 2016 National Stakeholder Conference and Exhibition Fair


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) recently attended the Vision 2016 National Stakeholder Conference and Exhibition Fair.


The objectives of the fair, which was held under the theme: The Journey So Far: In Pursuit of Prosperity for all by 2016 were to facilitate broad-based stakeholder participation to review implementation and progress of Vision 2016, to disseminate findings on various studies on the performance of Vision 2016 and to solicit    public opinion on fact tracking implementation of Vision 2016 priority areas in the remaining period as well as lessons learnt from the implementation of the current vision.


The conference which attracted participants from public and private sectors, civil society, trade unions and media discussed all the pillars of the vision, the success and challenges for each pillar.


International and regional speakers shared experiences on the implementation of their national visions and effective communication strategies as well as gave regional perspective on the role of agriculture in emerging economies.


The conference noted that the Vision 2016 journey so far had successes, challenges and opportunities along the way. 


Some of the critical challenges which were faced at the end of the Vision 2016 journey included, but not    exhaustive, slow progress in economic growth and diversification, high unemployment especially among the youth and slow progress in the further commercialisation and sustainable diversification of the agricultural sector.


NFTRC took the opportunity to showcase its products and services.


One of the exhibitors, Ms Julia Kwapa, a horticultural farmer from Morwa village was enthralled by NFTRC’s fruits and vegetable products which she wanted to be trained on.


Ms Kwapa said she envisaged herself being a millionaire through the discovery of this ‘diamond’.


The Ministry of Education and Skills representatives also showed interest to train students with disabilities in vegetable processing who have been assisted with a garden.


The event was officially opened by the Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi.




2015-07-16 - NFTRC at Ntlhantlhe


The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) last week Monday availed its services to people of Ntlhantlhe and surrounding villages.


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) went along to showcase some of its products and services.


The objective to the event was to bring services closer to the people.


Kgosi Orekeng welcomed the ministry to his village and said that he was pleased by the large number of residents who came to receive the services brought to them and thanked the ministry for the event.


Kgosi Orekeng urged residents to learn as much as possible more especially to the advice of how they could cope with this climate change so that they could get better yields in the coming year.


The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Patrick Pule Ralotsia said the event was an opportunity for the residents to appreciate and learn more about the ministry and to utilise its services to uplift their livelihoods as well as the agricultural sector.


Mr Ralotsia said the journey of taking Ministry of Agriculture to people started at Ntlhantlhe to ensure that Batswana have sufficient food and also to be able to sell their produce outside the country.


He said even though there are challenges here and there on agricultural sector, he urged residents to talk about them so that the officers could take their feedback to better serve them in future.


Residents were enthralled by NFTRC products as it was shown by the constructive questions rendered and they promised to visit the organisation for training.






2015-07-16 - NFTRC at DBES Wellness day


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) attended yet another wellness day hosted by the Department of Buildings and Engineering Services at Goodhope on the 23 June 2015.


The event which was facilitated by Goodhope Police Station, Goodhope Primary Hospital, Lobatse Psychiatric Hospital and NFTRC, was held under the theme, ‘Substance Abuse and The Risks That Could Lead to HIV and AIDS.


NFTRC was represented by Ms Galase Ramolefhe of Nutrition and Dietetics Department who made a presentation on healthy eating which was defined as consuming right quantities of foods from all food groups in order to lead a healthy life.


She targeted her presentation to people living with HIV/AIDS and explained that healthy eating for people living with HIV/AIDS is important as the body undergoes changes both from the disease itself and medications used.


She further emphasised that an HIV positive person, eating healthy enables them to keep their immune system stronger and improves overall quality of life through provision of nutrients to the body.


Galase mentioned that the basic principles of healthy eating includes a diet that is high in whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, limiting simple sugars, choosing lean and low fat sources of proteins. Thus meals and snacks should include proteins, carbohydrates and good fat.


She said this way of eating is important in counteracting non communicable and/or chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes which are emergent in our society and are mostly caused by poor food choices and lack of physical exercise.


She added that the overall perspective for whole eating is to strive for balance in physical, mental and social wellbeing.  






2015-07-16 - NFTRC host guests from Botswana High Commissions


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last week Thursday hosted delegates from Botswana High Commission in Pretoria and Zambia, Botswana Consulate General in Johannesburg and Embassy of Republic of Botswana in Sweden.


The delegates are nationals of these countries working for Botswana who are given provision to tour the country after every continuous five or ten years of service.


The objective of the visit was to give the delegates a first-hand feel about the country they are working for.


The delegates were welcomed by the Acting Director of Research and Development Dr Bernard Bulawayo who gave a brief overview of the NFTRC’s mandate and services.


The delegates had an opportunity to tour NFTRC facilities.






2015-07-03 - NFTRC hosts Business Enterprises


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on Monday hosted a two-man delegation from Business Enterprises at the University of Pretoria (Pty) Ltd (BE at UP).


The purpose of the visit was for BE at UP to explore opportunities for any research and/or consulting needs that NFTRC may have as well as to give an overview of its services.


The delegation was made up of Mr Jacobus Snyman (Manager, Contract Research and Consulting) and Mr Irvin Bogopa (Manager, Corporate Communications and Marketing).


The Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile welcomed the delegation while the Acting Director of Research and Development Dr Bernard Bulawayo gave an overview of NFTRC.


Dr Bulawayo said NFTRC believes it cannot do business in isolation, hence the formalisation of partnerships with different institutions within and outside the country, South Africa included.


In his comments, Mr  Snyman said he was impressed by the comprehensive presentation rendered, saying like NFTRC, Business Enterprises at the University of Pretoria (Pty) Ltd is a company. It is wholly owned by the university.


It is the facilitator between the business world and the vast pool of multidisciplinary brainpower and resources of the university.


He said BE at UP aims to create an environment for entrepreneurship, which includes the commercialisation and marketing of viable products and services.


He said the areas of operation at BE at UP includes agriculture, anthropology, business, community empowerment, economics, education, engineering, financial, food, geology, human resources, health, information    communication technology, languages, law, water, public sector as well as contract research and consulting services.


Mr Irvin Bogopa talked about Continuing Education at University of Pretoria (CE at UP).


Mr Bogopa urged NFTRC employees to invest in their own training to get the latest knowledge in their fields from leading global experts.


He said their short learning programmes equip people with the right tools and knowledge to accelerate their personal and career development in a sustainable and meaningful manner.


He said CE at UP has offered more than 500 short courses which illustrates its commitment to truly make a difference in the lives of individuals and institutions, both in the private and public sectors.


Mr Bogopa said their visit to Botswana was with one purpose in mind; to get into NFTRC’s territory and learn what it does and leave a legacy of what will happen in the future.


At the end, the two parties agreed to come up with a proposal that they would further discuss, make a decision that will change people’s lives and eventually sign a memorandum of agreement.




2015-07-03 - NFTRC at LEA road show and market day


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was last Friday amongst stakeholders at the Local Authority (LEA) road show and market day in Molepolole.


The event was held under the theme “Entrepreneurship, The Key to Economic Diversification”.


The objectives of the event were to continue communicating LEA services to Batswana at large, to create a platform for LEA clients to showcase their products and services amongst potential buyers, and to create and strengthen linkages between SMME’s and stakeholder organisations whose mandate has bearing on SMME operations.


The event was also meant to create a platform for facilitations of linkages between SMMEs and other established business enterprises. 


It was pleasing that the NFTRC stall attracted multitudes of people who showed keen interest in its products and services.


Participants encouraged NFTRC to keep up the good work it is doing on commercialisation of some        Botswana indigenous foods such as seswaa and water melon while promising to utilise NFTRC services in the near future. 




2015-06-19 - NFTRC hosts dairy processing course


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) through its Department of Extension and Training this week hosted a skills transfer programme on dairy processing.


Mr Mompati Molao said it had been a while without NFTRC conducting this programme.


He said the call to conduct this programme was motivated by demand from clients.


He said turn-up for the current training workshop was however poor, as only two participants turned up even though many had shown keen interest in this programme.


He said those who did not turn up complained of financial challenges.


He said in the future they will intensify marketing of this training to target potential entrepreneurs through all communication channels and even in institutions that normally sponsor participants for trainings.


He said the two participants attending this training are very interactive and easy to work with.


Mr Molao said they were processing madila, set yoghurt, stirred yoghurt, and feta cheese.






2015-06-19 - NFTRC at Tsetsebjwe Field Day


In an effort to spread its mandate to all corners of Botswana, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) uses all available opportunities.


To this end, the centre was among organisations that exhibited at the Tsetsebjwe Backline Field Day on June 11, 2015.


The event, which was held at Mr Jeremiah’s farm, brought together farmers to not only celebrate this year’s harvest but benchmark from each other in an endeavour to further improve their vocations.


In his keynote address, the Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB), Mr Edson Woto encouraged farmers to sell to his board and millers to buy from it to keep the money within the confines of Botswana.


Mr Woto dispelled the perception that BAMB pays little for produce only to sell it at higher price saying the board’s prices are competitive.


One of the farmers who produce coffee also took advantage of NFTRC’s presence to pitch the idea that their coffee should be tested, hopefully free, for them to start producing it commercially.


NFTRC exhibited mainly horticultural products with sorghum and biltong, but the hit product was sorghum flour and bread with a large number of people wanting to taste, which unfortunately was not possible.




2015-06-05 - NFTRC at BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was among exhibitors at the just ended BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair.


The fair was held in Francistown from 27-31 May 2015 under the theme: “Encompassing local businesses in value creation through innovative partnerships”.


The objective of the fair was not only to provide exhibitors with an opportunity to actively promote their businesses and network among themselves but also to encourage business people to look    beyond Botswana’s borders to explore possible avenues and work hard for expanding their businesses to the rest of the world.


A number of show goers who visited the NFTRC stall were interested in information on processing.


The team also administered a questionnaire seeking people’s level of awareness of the organisation and how best it could reach out to Batswana.


The fair was officially opened by the Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Telecommunications    Corporation Limited, Mr Paul Taylor who called on investors to work together with the town leadership to bring to life the Francistown investment master plan dubbed Vision 2022.


Mr Taylor said attracting investors to Francistown will not be without challenges, but they should be optimistic that it can be done through learning and emulating those who have already similarly transformed their economies.




2015-06-05 - NFTRC attends farmers field day


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) attended this year’s Mmalore Farmers Field Day on Wednesday 27, May 2015.


The event, which is held every year, is an opportunity for farmers to celebrate harvest, discuss emerging challenges and exchange knowledge on improving arable farming, was held under the theme, “Always a farmer under all conditions”.


In his key note address, Integrated Support for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD) Coordinator, Mr Lepodisi Telekelo applauded farmers for organising the event even during hard times when there is minimal  or no harvest.


Mr Telekelo said farming challenges are increasing every year because of the harsh climatic conditions, and urged farmers to use modern methods of farming and high breed seeds to continue producing good harvests.


He also urged farmers to collaborate with others from different regions to exchange knowledge.


He encouraged Batswana to continue utilising ISPAAD to increase harvest.


Meanwhile, the farmers were advised to venture into food processing to help Botswana become food secure.


NFTRC showcased its products and services at the event.


2015-06-05 - NFTRC interests potential entrepreneurs


The National Food Technology Research Centre’s (NFTRC) team had another opportunity to market the organinsation’s products and services at the just ended BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair in Francistown.


The fair was also an opportunity for the team to interact with other exhibitors as well as individuals who visited the stall to get clarity on NFTRC products and services.


Two elderly ladies from Moroka Village in the North East    District had such keen interest in the NFTRC stall that they not only visited it once but thrice, to gather as much information about food processing as possible.


A spokesperson for the group, Mrs Monica Moyuthu (51), said they came to the BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair to sell their freshly baked scones under the auspices of North East District Council.


Mrs Moyuthu said they were blessed for their stall to be close to the NFTRC one because they had an opportunity to glance at interesting products, which ignited their curiosity.


She said they inquired about peanut butter and jam processing, which they felt could be another business running parallel to the existing one.


She said they would do whatever it takes to come to NFTRC for training in peanut butter and jam processing. 


The ladies were advised to think alongside training for food safety as it would enhance their business.


The ladies, five in total, (three remained behind to see to the day-to-day running of the business) run a bakery funded by the Nyeletso Lehuma Initiative.




2015-05-25 - NFTRC at Parliament Wellness Day


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) through its Department of Nutrition and Dietetics recently participated at a Botswana Parliament Wellness Day.


Nutrition and Dietetics Research Scientist Ms Galase Ramolefhe said they conducted health screening for non-communicable diseases such, cholesterol test, glucose test, blood pressure, anthropometric measurements (Body mass index and waist  circumference)  and  did  nutritional     counselling.


Galase said NFTRC was participating at the event for the second year  running, adding that they also used the opportunity to advertise the BOD POD which determines body composition (fat and fat-free mass) in adults and children.


Participants included Parliament employees, parliamentary district officers and the general public.


The theme of event was “It’s never too late for a fresh start, it’s your health, your life”.




2015-05-25 - Are you customer centric?


With Quality Management System (QMS) having been declared a way of life at National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) in 2014, the expectation is that each staff member should be familiar with all the mandatory procedures, if the centre is to pass the final audit that will see it fly the ISO 9001:2008 flag.


One very critical procedure that we all need to be intimately familiar with is the customer service  one, if we are to ensure NFTRC does not only become the centre of excellence that it aspires to be, but also a service provider of choice for all in the food industry.


Kindly also note that NFTRC is expected to file a customer satisfaction report with the Ministry of Agriculture every month for onward transmission to the Directorate of Public Service Management in an endeavour to improve service delivery in the public service.


We may not be a public service organisation, but the money we spend comes from the government, which has put the system in place, so come let us all play ball, not just play but play to win.


So colleagues, let us all do all in our power to ensure we ‘pass’ with flying colours.




2015-05-08 - NFTRC at Young Farmers’ Field Day


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was among stakeholders who exhibited their products and services at the Young Farmers Association’s Field Day at Poloka Batho Farm near Maun.


The field day, which was the third of its kind, this year focused on Dairy Farming, with the only female young dairy farmer Nonny Wright as the host.


The twenty-five year old accountant loaned to farming or vice-versa said she was enticed to farming by her parents who are avid farmers and especially her mother who was very much into dairy farming.


She said although her ‘vocation’ is riddled with challenges, she is determined to succeed, proving that ‘where there is a will there is a way’.


Nonny says feed is the biggest challenge in dairy farming, as she imports most of it, thus having to dig a lot deeper into her pocket unlike other farmers who can let their animals loose on the veldt and hope for the best.


Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Mr Fidelis Molao thanked the young farmers association for putting up such a spirited fight in breaking into farming.


Mr Molao encouraged them to put all their energies into farming regardless of the challenges.


He also encouraged young farmers to explore dairy farming since Botswana does not produce enough milk for herself.


Mr Molao also encouraged young farmers to venture into fodder production, which Batswana are not doing though it is viable.


He urged them to research and research some more to get the best and feed Botswana.


In his welcome speech, the chairperson of the young farmers association, Mr Thebeyame Molefe decried the lack of support to young farmers, but promised they would not despair.


To spice up the day, which was held under the theme: ‘Young Farmers working towards milk and milk products sustainability’ there was silage-cutting demonstration and of course horse riding, which is the pride of Maun.




2015-05-08 - HR &A Department finds winning formula


The Human Resources and Administration (HR&A) Department recently started holding meetings every week to cultivate knowledge on Quality Management System (QMS).


Senior Human Resource Officer Ms Tebogo Leu said the department decided to hold the meetings three times a week to bring all staff on board. 


Tebogo said random QMS questions are posed and very impressive answers are rendered which really shows that they are on the right track.


She said apart from that, there are teams consisting of four members each that are assigned different topics for presentation, which she said does not only promote team spirit but allows members to participate during deliberations.


Tebogo said QMS needs teamwork to function efficiently, urging all NFTRC and staff to invest more effort and commitment into it.


Other departments are therefore encouraged to emulated HR&A department to help the organisation to certification.




2015-05-08 - Milling plant commissioned


The Food Technology Department (FT) recently commissioned its milling mini plant.


The mini plant is one of the test-bed processing lines, which National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) has decided to set up.


Senior Research Scientist, Dr Minah Mosele said the milling mini plant has three very important components namely dehuller, stone mill and sifter.


Dr Mosele said dehuller is used for removing bran, while the stone mill is for grinding sorghum grains and is capable of grinding very fine particles and the sifter is for sifting milled flour to the specific particle size.


She said the components are interconnected and perform semi-automated processing, adding that there is also a semi-automated flour packaging machine which is capable of packing one to 20-kilogramme bags.


She said the plant is going to be used for both cereal and legume processing.


Dr Mosele said the milling mini plant will be used to upscale research in product development areas and also to upscale the skills transfer programme as trainees will have the feel of an entry level industrial processing environment.


She said the plant would be rented out to entrepreneurs during pick seasons.


NFTRC will also provide incubation facilities for upcoming food processors to test their samples in the market.


Dr Mosele said in addition to existing milling machines, some machines were acquired to improve and expand the plant




2015-03-06 - Youths called upon to be creative and responsive

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC)  last week attended the Southern District Youth Pitso in Kanye.

The Pitso, which was held under the theme ‘Information, Communication and Technology (ICT): Key for a creative and responsive youth’ attracted more than hundred youth people from across the district.

The objectives of the Pitso were to accord the youth a platform to deliberate on issues that influence their lives; give stakeholders an opportunity to disseminate information on various youth development interventions and/or opportunities and to accord young people an opportunity to define productive youth/adult partnerships as well as strengthen and reinforce the relationship between the youth, their parents and communities.

In his welcome remarks, the Southern District Commissioner Mr Moses Gaealafswe encouraged the youths to go beyond chatting with modern ICT but rather use it to advertise their businesses, share experiences, challenges and achievements.

In his keynote remarks, NFTRC's Acting Director of Research and Development, Dr Bernard Bulawayo urged the youth not to be only users of Facebook and Twitter but engage these modern technologies to strengthen their businesses.

Dr Bulawayo said the youth should refrain from using social media for chatting only but to sell their products as well.

He said some big businesses started small, some started from house garages and have now grown into recognisable brands.

He therefore said the youths should not be discouraged by not having premises but look to their cellphones as they have everything needed for business.

Dr Bulawayo  advised the youth to think outside the box when utilising these modern devices.


2015-03-06 - Masego applauds NFTRC

Former Assistant Research Scientist in Food Chemistry, Ms Masego Leshona has left the services of National Food Technology Research Centre to join Gemological Institute of America.

Masego thanked NFTRC for granting her an opportunity to get exposure to various activities more  especially  those  of  the  Food  Chemistry  Department.

Prior to joining NFTRC in November 2013, she had interned  at  the  Department of Water Affairs in Gaborone.

She said the exposure upgraded her skills and human relations, adding that the institution has nurtured her to be a better person.

Masego encouraged NFTRC staff to continue excelling to improve the institution’s growth, adding that its importance should not only be felt and understood by Batswana but by the international community.


2015-02-25 - Update - Indigenous foods - focus group discussions and food processing activities



1.       Workshop dates: 10-12 March 2015

2.       Where: NFTRC, Kanye

3.       Who should participate?  People who:

a.       have expertise or reasonable skill in processing some of the foods on the list; interested persons should call 5445500, email dijotsasetso@naftec.org or indicate their interest on the NFTRC Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/www.naftec.org?ref=br_tf , stating which of the listed products they are interested in processing

b.      enjoy working with other people

c.       do not live more than 150km from Kanye

4.       Deadline for registration: 06 March 2015

5.       Since some of the ingredients will be difficult for NFTRC to access, prospective participants are thus urged as a matter of urgency to indicate which specific ingredients they will bring along with them

6.       Participants will be provided with transport to Kanye (participants will be picked from agreed points); meals; compensation for their effort; as well as costs incurred in acquiring difficult-to-find raw materials or ingredients

7.       Participants' names will be featured in the technical report and other relevant publications produced



1.       Malatsi a thuto-se-ka-dipuisanyo: 10-12 Mopitlo 2015

2.       Kae: NFTRC, Kanye

3.       Ke mang yo o ka tsaang karolo? 

a.       Batho ba ba nang le kitso le botsipa ja go dira dijo tse di kwadilweng fa; ba ba nang le kgatlhego ba kopiwa go leletsa 5445500, go romela email kwa dijotsasetso@naftec.org kgotsa go kwala mo tsebeng ya NFTRC ya Facebook, ba supa gore ke dife dijo mo go tse di balolotsweng fano tse ba tlaa bong ba tla go supa botsipa ja go di dira

b.      Batho ba ba ratang go dira kgotsa go abelana megopolo le ba bangwe

c.       Batho ba ba sa nneng go feta sekgala sa 150km go tswa mo Kanye

4.       Ba ba nang le kgatlhego ba gakololwa fa ikwadiso e tlaa ema ka 06 Mopitlo 2015

5.       Dingwe tsa dijo tse di tlaa bong di dirisiwa ke tse di seng motlhofo gore NFTRC e di bone, ka jalo batsaa-karolo ba kopiwa go tlhalosa ka bofefo jo bo kgonagalang gore ke dife mo dijong tse di yang go dirisiwa tse ba tlaa tlang ka tsone

6.       Batsaa-karolo ba tlaa tsewa ka sepalamo fa mafelong a a dumalanweng, go tla Kanye; ba tlaa fiwa dijo; ba neelwe lemmenyana go lebogela matsapa a bone; ba ba tsileng ka dijo tse di thata go bonwa ba bo ba atswiwe ka sengwenyane go emisetsa ditshenyegelo tsa bone

7.       Maina a batsaa-karolo a tlaa kwalwa mo pegong ya tiro e, le mo mekwalong e mengwe e e dumalanweng e e tlaa bong e tlhalosa ka yone



The National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC, commonly given the pet-name "Naftec"), located in Kanye, invites interested people living within 150km of the centre to participate in fine-tuning and recording of processing methods for Botswana's priority indigenous foods.


The activities shall be held at NFTRC in March 2015.  Please call 5445500 for more details, or email dijotsasetso@naftec.org


Foods to be processed include the following:


Lekalana la dipatlisiso tsa dijo la National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC, e e tlwaelesegileng ka go retiwa go twe "Naftec"), ko Kanye, le laletsa ba ba nang le kgatlhego ya go gatisa nabo mekgwa ya go dira dijo tsa Botswana tsa setso, mme ba nna sekgala se se sa heteng 150km go tswa mo Kanye, go itshwaraganya nabo.


Kgatiso e e tlaa nnela ko NFTRC mo kgweding ya Mopitlo 2015.  Go utlwa go feta fa, lo kopiwa go leletsa mogala 5445500, kgotsa go romela email kwa dijotsasetso@naftec.org  


Dijo tse di tlaa gatisiwang di akaretsa tse di latelang:



1.      Mowana/ baobab (Adansonia digitata) - yoghurt

2.      Dikgobe - beans + samp (decorticated maize kernels) - cooked

3.      Lebelebele (Pennisetum glaucum) - millet - senkgwana - steamed bread

4.      Lebelebele (Pennisetum glaucum) - millet - lebabe - roasted/parched and milled grain

5.      Lebelebele (Pennisetum glaucum) - millet - nthiane/logala - porridge cooked in milk

6.      Motlopi (Boscia albitrunca) 'coffee' -  hot beverage made from roasted root

7.      Suswane - bogobe/porridge cooked with morula (Sclerocarya birrea) juice - dried instant powder

8.      Mokolwane (Hyphaene petersiana) - bogobe ja mokolwane (fruit pulp cooked in milk)

9.      Bokhwilo - pieces of biltong or roasted meat with peanuts or morula (Sclerocarya birrea) nuts  

10.  Melon (Citrullus lanatus) - setapatapa - soup made from ground roasted lerotse seeds boiled in water

11.  Delele - wild okra (Corchorus olitorius L. and C. tridens L.) with thepe (Amaranthus spp.) - blanched and dried

12.  Milk - cooked milk fat - ongondivi/mongobolo

13.  Phane (Imbrasia belina) - dried phane

14.  Tswii (Nymphaea nouchali) -  tubers cooked in bone broth

15.  Maize (Zea mays) - letshotlho - soft maize on the cob boiled and dried

16.  Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) - mptshaptsha/letshotlho - immature sorghum heads, boiled and dried

17.  Rothwe (Cleome gynandra) - blanched and dried

18.  Motsentsela (Berchemia discolour) - patties/cakes  

19.  Mogabala/ legabala (Cucumis metuliferus) - boiled; option for roasting as well

20.  Moxinga/muxinga (from tsaro tree - Phoenix reclinata) - smoothie (fruit drink blended with milk)

21.  Motsaudi  (Guibourtia coleosperma) - fruit drink

22.  Chimoni - (mmidi, manoko, ditloo and/or dinawa) - cooked

23.  Mashesha/mashezha/mosata (Stomatostemma monteiroae) - blanched and dried

24.  Mokgalo (Ziziphus mucronata) 'tea' - hot beverage made from fruits boiled in water

25.  Motsotsojane (Grewia flavescens) - with madila - a dessert

26.  Moqhwanga/ reboreya - boiled/roasted maize with melon - mmidi le lerotse

27.  Mogwagwa (Strychnos madagascariensis, Strychnos pungens) - fruits boiled, dried, eaten as snack

28.  Mmupudu (Mimusops zeyheri) - sesema - pounded and dried mmupudu fruits

29.  Khwengelele - peanut gravy




2015-02-13 - NFTRC sensitises Bathoen JSS

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC)’s Assistant Public Relations Officer Keontse Mothibedi last week Friday sensitised Bathoen Community Junior Secondary School students and teachers about the centre’s services and products. 

 Keontse said he was impressed by the thirst to learn displayed by both students and teachers as they invited NFTRC to brief them on its services.  

He said this spirit is very welcome as NFTRC not only sees the students as its future employees or food processing entrepreneurs but ambassadors. 

He advised them to take full advantage of the services NFTRC has to offer.

The students and teachers commended NFTRC for the good work it is doing. They also wanted to know challenges faced by NFTRC.

The challenges include poor uptake of  research outputs, shortages of resources; both human and financial as well as having no other offices outside Kanye.

NFTRC also showcased its products.


2015-02-13 - Progress of QMS journey

It has been some time now since NFTRC embarked on a journey to certification in ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System (QMS).

But now the journey is nearing completion with certification expected sometime this year.

The QMS team is currently busy at work preparing for the formal launch of manuals on Monday to    create not only enthusiasm but ownership by staff.

The team is also busy translating some documents into Setswana for ease of understanding.

NFTRC staff are thus encouraged to familiarise themselves with all mandatory processes, to avoid being caught unprepared during both internal and external audits.

Staff members are also reminded to utilise the records office to store all NFTRC records and refrain from keeping documents and files in their offices.


2015-02-13 - NFTRC welcome interns

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) recently welcomed three interns — one graduate and two student interns.

Mr Pako Phuti, who was a student intern at NFTRC in 2011 has joined the Centre as a graduate intern.

Pako, a graduate Degree in Biotechnology Vaal  University  of Technology  said he joined NFTRC because he has a passion for research, adding that he is going to prove his competency by working hard.

He said he will apply what he learnt at university in executing hall is duties.

The duo of Aobakwe Mosimanegape and Bakang Ramogola are student interns.

Aobakwe is a final year student pursuing a Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety at Boitekanelo College.

He has been assigned SHE activities under the guidance of Mr Juda Bogopa.

Aobakwe said the risk assignment was well done and measures should be put in place to address risks that need immediate attention.

Mr Bakang Ramogola is a third year student at Botho University pursuing Bachelor of Science in Computing and he is attached at Information Technology Department.

He said his aim is to get industrial experience and put what he has learnt at school into practice.

We wish the trio a productive and very rewarding stay at NFTRC.


2015-02-09 - Indigenous Foods (fine-tuning and recording of processing methods participation)

The National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC/”Naftec”), located in Kanye, invites interested people living within 150km of the centre to participate in fine-tuning and recording of processing methods for Botswana’s priority indigenous foods.


The activities shall be held at NFTRC in March 2015.  Please call 5445500 for more details, or email dijotsasetso@naftec.org


Foods to be processed include the following:


Lekalana la dipatlisiso tsa dijo la National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC/”Naftec”), ko Kanye, le laletsa ba ba nang le kgatlhego ya go gatisa nabo mekgwa ya go dira dijo tsa Botswana tsa setso, mme ba nna sekgala se se sa heteng 150km go tswa mo Kanye, go itshwaraganya nabo.


Kgatiso e e tlaa nnela ko NFTRC mo kgweding ya Mopitlo 2015.  Go utlwa go feta fa, lo kopiwa go leletsa mogala 5445500, kgotsa go romela email kwa dijotsasetso@naftec.org


Dijo tse di tlaa gatisiwang di akaretsa tse di latelang:



Mowana/ baobab (Adansonia digitata) – yoghurt

2.      Dikgobe – beans + samp (decorticated maize kernels) – cooked

3.      Lebelebele (Pennisetum glaucum) – millet – senkgwana – steamed bread

4.      Lebelebele (Pennisetum glaucum) – millet – lebabe – roasted/parched and milled grain

5.      Lebelebele (Pennisetum glaucum) – millet – nthiane/logala – porridge cooked in milk

6.      Motlopi (Boscia albitrunca) ‘coffee’ –  hot beverage made from roasted root

7.      Suswane – bogobe/porridge cooked with morula (Sclerocarya birrea) juice – dried instant powder

8.      Mokolwane (Hyphaene petersiana) – bogobe ja mokolwane (fruit pulp cooked in milk)

9.      Bokhwilo – pieces of biltong or roasted meat with peanuts or morula (Sclerocarya birrea) nuts  

10.  Melon (Citrullus lanatus) – setapatapa – soup made from ground roasted lerotse seeds boiled in water

11.  Delele – wild okra (Corchorus olitorius L. and C. tridens L.) with thepe (Amaranthus spp.) – blanched and dried

12.  Milk – cooked milk fat – ongondivi/mongobolo

13.  Phane (Imbrasia belina) – dried phane

14.  Tswii (Nymphaea nouchali) –  tubers cooked in bone broth

15.  Maize (Zea mays) – letshotlho – soft maize on the cob boiled and dried

16.  Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) – mptshaptsha/letshotlho – immature sorghum heads, boiled and dried

17.  Rothwe (Cleome gynandra) – blanched and dried

18.  Motsentsela (Berchemia discolour) – patties/cakes  

19.  Mogabala/ legabala (Cucumis metuliferus) – boiled; option for roasting as well

20.  Moxinga/muxinga (from tsaro tree – Phoenix reclinata) – smoothie (fruit drink blended with milk)

21.  Motsaudi  (Guibourtia coleosperma) – fruit drink

22.  Chimoni – (mmidi, manoko, ditloo and/or dinawa) – cooked

23.  Mashesha/mashezha/mosata (Stomatostemma monteiroae) – blanched and dried

24.  Mokgalo (Ziziphus mucronata) ‘tea’ – hot beverage made from fruits boiled in water

25.  Motsotsojane (Grewia flavescens) – with madila – a dessert

26.  Moqhwanga/ reboreya – boiled/roasted maize with melon – mmidi le lerotse

27.  Mogwagwa (Strychnos madagascariensis, Strychnos pungens) – fruits boiled, dried, eaten as snack

28.  Mmupudu (Mimusops zeyheri) sesema – pounded and dried mmupudu fruits

29.  Khwengelele – peanut gravy


2015-02-09 - NFTRC attends another LEA Market Day

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on 23 January 2014 exhibited some of its products and services at a LEA Market Day in Kanye.

In his welcoming remarks, LEA’s Kago Ntebela encouraged participants to take advantage of the day to know their competitors, establish relationships with financiers and their future suppliers to increase their customer base.

LEA Marketing Specialist, Mr Kabelo Nkoane said the objective of the day was to give exhibitors a chance to show consumers their products and services to help increase sales. 

Mr Nkoane urged Bangwaketse to utilise LEA services to start businesses that will diversify the economy.

Meanwhile, the guest speaker and Director of Maranatha School of Excellence, Dr Serara Moahi, said although her business is new, she started on a high note to provide quality education.

Dr Moahi called on business people to be fully committed to their businesses, advising them to learn as much as possible about anything that could uplift their businesses.

She urged them to benchmark and learn new avenues.

Dr Moahi likened the running of a business to a football team that has to practice a lot and play their hearts out on match day.

She also cited the example of the jam-maker who has to do it over and over again until he/she produces the best product.

She called on other business people not to be discouraged by criticism as business is all about competition.

Dr Moahi said they should have sheer perseverance to succeed.


2015-02-09 - Tumelo send off

Ms Tumelo Tlhong recently left National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) to pursue a PhD in Consumer Sciences, specialising in Foods at Pretoria University in South Africa.

Tumelo like many others before her, was accorded a befitting send off by colleagues.

The well-wishers described her as a focused person, who would move mountains to deliver once she sets her mind on a task at hand.

They described her as a team player though she could at times frighten the faint hearted by vigorously opposing things at the onset.

Tumelo  was  said to  have  uniquely touched the lives of many colleagues, both professionally, socially and spiritually.

They wished her well in her studies and new environment, reminding her to be a good ambassador of both NFTRC and Botswana.

Tumelo said she was touched by the love she received from NFTRC staff.

She said she always wished to 'come back from the dead' on her funeral day to hear what people would say about her, but now that opportunity is unnecessary as her leaving for further studies shed some light.

She regretted leaving when the organisation is anxiously awaiting the impending merger and encouraged those whom she is leaving behind to work hard to take NFTRC to greater heights.

Ms Thong, as she is affectionately called by some, said she prides herself for having 'grown up' with NFTRC, adding that the centre has moulded her into the woman and professional she is and it will always be her second home.

We wish you all the best in your new project Ms Thong!!!!


2015-01-16 - NFTRC continues to give back

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)’s Departments of Crop Production and Irrigation in Kanye have embarked on a project to change the livelihoods of some Kanye residents. 

The Centre has turned its own backyard to develop  gardens for deserving members of the Kanye community.

With the help of Social Services Department at Kanye Administrative Authority (KAA), NFTRC identified four beneficiaries who reside near its premises to benefit from the gardens, as they will not incur any travelling expenses.

The gardens would be watered free of charge    using recycled water from NFTRC ponds.

On Tuesday 07, January 2015 the garden owners made five (5) seedbeds of rape, onion, tomato, beetroot and green pepper.

To the joy of the beneficiaries some seeds have already started sprouting.

NFTRC, MoA and Social Services Department are monitoring the initiative.

This is not the first poverty eradication related initiative that NFTRC has embarked upon, having not long ago, trained Ms Onalenna Benjamin from Makobo village.

Ms Benjamin also received processing equipment and raw  materials  to  start  her jam processing   project.


2015-01-16 - NFTRC welcomes new staff members

The Weekly Bulletin trusts that you all had a safe and a restful  festive season with your loved ones.  May 2015 give you the courage to overcome and embrace the virtues.

As per words of encouragements showered upon us during the year-end Team Building Exercise, we trust this year would be the best for both National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) and its staff.

Let us all behave ethically and bring on board the latest knowledge and skills to ensure relevance for both NFTRC and ourselves.

To ensure efficiency of the institution, NFTRC management recently filled the hitherto vacant posts of the Finance and Human Resources Managers.

The Human Resources and  Administration Manager post is filled by Mr Vincent Mothupi who joined the employ of NFTRC last week.

Mr Mothupi, a married father of three, has more than 22 years’ experience as an HR practitioner.

Prior to joining NFTRC, he was with Mupane Gold Mine, which he left last June to complete his PhD.

He said he considers joining NFTRC an opportunity to put the experience that he gained from the various organisations and what he gained from his research into practice .

He therefore  hopes to assist NFTRC with implementation of best HR practices so that the organisation can achieve its strategic plan of being a international centre of excellence in food science and technology..

He said he hopes his stay at NFTRC would be fruitful, adding that he has realised that the beauty of an organisation lies in long serving staff members who are dedicated to its long term vision as it enables new members to easily learn and adapt to the culture of the organisation.

The other new employee is Ms Lebogang Gaogane, a Research Scientist with the Microbiology/Biotechnology Department.

Lebogang has a Master’s in Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health from St Georges University in Grenada – West   Indies.

Lebogang said her major interest is in research and by joining NFTRC she hopes to assist the public about disease prevention.

She said she wished NFTRC could translate the findings of any given research activity to the benefit of Batswana.

Meanwhile, Ms Mpho Kentse, a student pursuing Diploma in Entrepreneurship at Ba Isago  University, has joined NFTRC on industrial  attachment for six months.

Mpho is attached at the Supplies Unit. She expressed gratitude for the warm reception from NFTRC staff.


2014-12-12 - Upgrading of records management system

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) recently upgraded its records management system by installing flexible steel filing cabinets.

In an interview with the Records Officer, Mrs Carlio Sereto-Relaeng said the cabinets would make work easier adding that records keeping is a key to development in any organisation. 

Carlio said the upgrading of the records system would facilitate quick and convenient retrieval of active documents as well as help the organisation to reap greater benefits with regard to productivity.

She said previously combo boxes were used for filing which made  it look cumbersome, notwithstanding  associated risks of fire and water in case of roof leakage.

Carlio said the new system has safety measures that will prevent and control hazards and has also created a lot of space. 

She said since the introduction of the new system, no new actions were taken on closed files, which are kept in an offside storage, adding that these old, dated but important records are put aside not only to make space for the new ones, but for future referrals should the need arise.

Mrs Sereto-Relaeng was asked what she doing to ensure that staff members understand this new filing system and she said at the moment she is doing it one on one when she realise that her customers are not aware and she ultimately hopes that everybody will soon be on board.


2014-12-12 - Moeti JSS swings by NFTRC

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last week Friday hosted Form 2 students from Moeti  Junior Secondary School in Maun.

The purpose of the visit was to expose students to NFTRC services, how they can excess them and utilise them.

Ms Kemelo Ookeditse welcomed the students and teachers and gave an overview of NFTRC. Kemelo said such visits are very profitable to students as they are the future of Botswana.

She informed them that NFTRC services are open to all Batswana, regardless of economic status or culture.

The students applauded NFTRC for the wonderful job it is doing for Batswana.

They said NFTRC should come up with strategies for its services to be accessible to all districts, adding that it is expensive for people from other parts of the country to travel to Kanye. 


2014-12-05 - NFTRC hosts BDF’s FTE

National Food Technology Research Centre last Friday hosted 24 military students from the Botswana Defence Force (BDF)’s Force Training Establishment (FTE).

The FTE is a BDF training institution for Warrant Officers situated in Lobatse. 

The aim of the visit was for FTE students and the directing staff, who accompanied them to learn about NFTRC’s mandate and operations.

The Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile welcomed the visitors and gave an overview of NFTRC.

Dr Kebakile said the visit was not the first of its kind as there have been numerous where a number of ideas were shared between NFTRC and the BDF.

He said unfortunately, there has never been any follow-up on the visits by either party to reflect on the shared ideas.

He called for follow-up and reflecting more on discussed issues, to come up with a full strategy to help form a strong relationship between the two institutions.

The soldiers were thankful for the information presented and promised to think of taking up NFTRC technologies upon retirement.


2014-12-05 - NFTRC sensitises PHC youth

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on Tuesday participated at a Pentecostal Holiness Church (PHC) seminar to inform Kanye youth about its services and how to access them.

The objective of the seminar was to cultivate the spirit of entrepreneurship in PHC church members especially the youth and motivate them to aspire for holistic development (spiritual, social and economic). 

NFTRC’s Assistant Public Relations Officer Mr Keontse Mothibedi advised the youth to consider being food sector entrepreneurs to help diversify the economy of Botswana

Keontse said gone are the days where everyone could find employment after completion of studies, hence the youth should consider creating employment for themselves and fellow citizens by utilising NFTRC technologies.

The youth applauded NFTRC for its services and promised to visit in future


2014-12-05 - Molapowabojang celebrations 100 years

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was among stakeholders, invited guests and residents who graced the Molapowabojang village centenary celebration last Saturday.

The celebration was an opportunity for residents to reflect and learn from the past and collectively commit themselves to build a better village for the present and future generations.

The village is said to have been established in 1914 with only five homesteads who relocated from Ga-Sebako ward in Kanye to hold ground and provide early warning to headquarters, particularly the Ndebele of Mzilikazi and the Boers who were marching across what is now Botswana, attacking Tswana tribes, capturing land, cattle, women and subjugating the weak.

The village is today the home of multi-cultural communities with more than ten thousand residents and is said to be the third largest in the Southern District after Kanye and Moshupa.

Molapowabojang has seen moderate growth in all aspects of human development even though there is a lot that still needs to be done like roads infrastructure and a vocational school.

In his remarks, the guest speaker Mr Peter Siele, who is the former Member of Parliament of the area, said he was impressed by the fact that the village has taken a journey down memory lane.

Mr Siele said it was worthy for the village to celebrate its 100 years as different talents like chorale music, poets and guitarists just to mention a few were showcased.

He congratulated the residents for the peaceful setup as there are very few criminal incidences reported and for the recognisable developments.

Kgosi Kedirile Letshabo had earlier congratulated the organising committee for the sterling job and thanked all those who contributed to the success of the occasion.

NFTRC was thanked for sponsoring the production of the day’s programmes


2014-11-28 - NFTRC revamps its skills base

Trainers Ms Anna Nkwe-Mosele, Ms Tumelo Tlhong and Dr Minah Mosele, recently attended an assessors’ course in Gaborone.

The trio, are fully accredited trainers, who attended the course conducted by Quality Skills Framework Consultants to improve their skills.

In addition, Head of Extension and Training Dr Keitirele Walker also attended a training of trainers’ course in Gaborone from 17-21 November 2014.

Dr Walker said both courses were very rigorous with practical presentations and examinatiosn.

She said in furtherance to this, 13 staff members will attend a training of trainers’ course from 1-5 December 2014 at NFTRC.

Dr Walker said the course is expected to be intensive requiring true commitment.

She said the participants would need to be released from regular assignments and any other official activities to ensure full their participation.

She said successful completion of the course will facilitate participants' full accreditation.

2014-11-28 - Ramabu joins NFTRC

Mr Isaac Ramabu, who hails from Radisele, last week joined the employ of National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) as Finance Manager.

Mr Ramabu is a Chartered Accountant with more than 10 years of experience.

Prior to joining NFTRC, Mr Ramabu was with the African Union as a Statutory Accounting Principles (SAP) Finance Expert, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for one year, and before then he had been with Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund as Management Accountant for three years.

He considers joining NFTRC as growth since he will have more responsibilities and challenges in terms of  being answerable for the department and advising Management where possible with strategic financial expertise.

He said he hopes his stay at NFTRC will be more fruitful and he will ensure that the Centre complies with statutory requirements, citing the examples of the submission of annual reports and returns.

Mr Ramabu also hopes to have good working relations with all the employees of NFTRC.


2014-11-14 - FAO Representative visits NFTRC

Last week Thursday, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) hosted the Sub-Regional Coordinator and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Representative to Botswana, Mr Chimimba David Phiri. 

Mr Phiri was accompanied by the Assistant FAO Representative in Botswana Mr David Tibe.

He said he found it fit to visit NFTRC to learn what the organisation is all about and seek possible areas for future collaboration on food processing and food safety related issues.

It was noted during the   deliberation that NFTRC together with other related stakeholders were earlier invited to a country workshop on programming framework for implementing FAO in Botswana, where food safety was one of the major topics of discussion.

The visitors were welcomed by Dr Boitshepo Keikotlhaile who gave an overview of the organisation.

In his response, Mr Phiri said he was first impressed by the good working environment and hoped the institution is providing quality services as per the good presentation.

He said the Office of FAO Representative in Botswana is currently working on a survey on food safety, more especially on food loss.

Mr Phiri said, having realised that there is no market for post-harvest produce; they have since taken an edge to encourage farmers to venture into food processing to curb food loss.

He said the survey would determine the loss on post-harvest cereals and FAO would later use that as the basis to work with the government on ways to reduce the losses

He said NFTRC’s existence is very crucial because of its technologies in food processing, hence the need to seek collaboration with the organisation to assist FAO where possible during the survey.

The visit ended with a tour of facilities, where the visitors were impressed by the equipment and hoped both institutions would engage more on important issues during the collaboration.



2014-11-14 - Southern District Tree Planting Day

Residents of Thankane, both young and old were in a jubilant mood on Saturday as they hosted the Southern District Tree Planting Day.

This year’s commemoration was held under the theme, “Forest for people: A key to poverty eradication”.

This annual event, which started in 1985, was one in a series that will be held across the country in different districts, leading to the national tree planting day to be held at the end of November.

The objectives of the event were to increase public awareness on tree planting, to reserve wild trees and fruits for the coming generation and to reduce soil erosion.

In his welcome remarks, Kgosi Reginald Mokgabisi said he was overjoyed to see Thankane residents having filled the Kgotla to receive visitors and listen to the important message brought to them.

Kgosi Mokgabisi encouraged his subjects to take heed of whatever will be deliberated on to improve their knowledge and livelihoods.

The guest speaker, Mr Jeremiah Moeng from the Forestry Department, in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism said God gave people the authority to take care of plants from the beginning; hence tree planting is not a new issue to human nature.

Mr Moeng said the commemoration of tree planting was started by former president Sir Ketumile Masire after realising that desertification was  worsening.

He said trees need  to be nurtured and watered   regularly for people to reap good benefits of food, clean air, medication and shade.

He said this year’s tree is Mmilo (vangueria infausta), a veldt fruit that can be enjoyed by both humans and animals while its wood is used for fire, durable wood utensils and furnishings.

The residents who planted trees at the Kgotla, primary school, clinic and their homes were encouraged to work hard to green Botswana by 2016.

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) showcased its products with residents enthralled by Morama products or dichama in their native language.


2014-11-14 - Progress on QMS

Two months ago three groups of staff members were trained on Quality Management System (QMS) to bring them on board to embrace the system.

The Weekly Bulletin followed up some of the trainees to find out how they have progressed after the training, and this is what they had to say:

Ms Oganeditse Monnaotsile said the training has made her aware that her colleagues are as important as customers as those from outside

Oganeditse said prior to the training she treated them as colleagues only but not as her customers.

She said even though she has not yet mapped her processes, she has since learnt that they are very important more especially if a new member of staff joins the unit as he/she will read them and provide the expected level and quality of service as the ones who have been there.

She also mentioned the importance of keeping records, which she said would assist in times when there is a complaint from customers.

Mr Kenanao Dikole said he learnt that customer service is very important in a working environment, adding that this has improved his working relations with his colleagues as he now treats them as customers with the hope that they will do likewise to him.

He said he has not mapped his processes because it slipped off his mind.

He said he was thankful that the Weekly News team brought it up, promising to find time to do them as soon as possible with the assistance of his supervisor.

Ms Omphile Petros said QMS was a real eye-opener for her because she has learnt that having an organisational structure is very important so that individuals should know who to report to and follow the necessary channels when the need arises.

Omphile also pointed out the importance of documentation and proper records maintenance.

She said she has not yet finished mapping her processes, which she is doing with the assistance of her supervisor.

Ms Thamiso Magowe said the training was a revision of what she did at school and also it made her aware that she should always refer to her job profile in order to perform diligently.

Thamiso said when she joined Food Technology she found that they were already adhering to their processes, which made it easy for her to the system. 

She added that documentation is very important more especially when new staff comes because they will be guided by the available procedures.

Meanwhile Mr Tema Kotlhao said the training made him realise the importance of the standards and appreciate the fact that NFTRC has aligned itself with international standards.

Tema said the training also cautioned him not to take some things for granted like not keeping records and not mapping individual processes as they enable one’s daily activities flow smoothly.

He said he has mapped his individual processes and this made handover to his co-worker easy.


2014-10-31 - NFTRC continues to excel

As part of its effort to equip Batswana with food processing skills, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) recently trained a group of twenty seven (27) potential entrepreneurs on fruits and vegetables processing.

Some of the trainees in the group, which consisted both old and young, said they have been in the food processing business for more than 25 years processing jam, albeit traditionally.

They said they were motivated to come for training in order to practice the modern methods which they hoped would improve their efficiency.

One of the trainees, Ms Margaret Nkanane, who said she was encouraged to come for training by one NFTRC trained entrepreneur, Ms Pulane Ping, said the training was very usefulness, especially in hygiene and food handling.

Ms Nkanane who is working for a catering company said hygiene and food handling are sometimes taken for granted though they are essential in food business.

She said she would start a fruits and vegetables drying business, which she hopes would generate funds quickly to enable her to introduce other products.

Meanwhile, 69-year old Ruth Motshotelo Tuelo, who hails from Tshidilamolomo in Barolong Farms, said she was nominated and sponsored by the Social Welfare Officer to come for training.

Ms Tuelo said the course was wonderful and she ensured that she grasped as much as possible and was impressed by the fact that Setswana was used in the proceedings.

She added that she is going to be a NFTRC ambassador in her village, telling residents about the good news with the potential to change their lives.

The group applauded their facilitators for their patience, saying they gave them the opportunity to ask questions whenever they needed to.


2014-10-31 - NFTRC to start test-beds

The Food Technology Department (FTD) is refurbishing the pilot plant to turn some of its        processing lines into test-beds. 

Senior Research Scientist at FTD, Dr Minah Mosele said there is going to be a number of changes at the pilot plant as equipment would be shifted and grouped according to its usage, with the plant       divided into dry and wet areas.

Dr Mosele said the wet area would be used for processing mineral water, juices and jams; and part of it for meat, fruit and vegetable processing, while the dry area would be used for processing cereals and legumes including processes such as milling, drying, roasting and packaging.

She said the test-beds would present an opportunity for entrepreneurs to be able to visualise the          necessary processing equipment at small scale or business entry level as well as to get an idea of    capital investment needed for the machinery.

She said entrepreneurs would use NFTRC machinery at an agreed fee.

Dr Mosele said the idea is also to shift some of the food processing trainings from “pots and pans” to proper processing equipment to encourage advancement of businesses.

She said the recently acquired equipment would form part of the test-beds.

She said so far the department has acquired milling as well as fruits and vegetables processing        equipment, while the water treatment and bottling equipment is yet to arrive.


2014-10-17 - BIUST visits NFTRC

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on Monday hosted Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST)’s, Dr Edson Selaolo.

Dr Selaolo is the Executive Director of Research, of BIUST’s Development, and Entrepreneurship (ORDE) at

The purpose of the visit was for BIUST to seek possible areas and ways of collaboration with NFTRC. 

He shared ORDE's strategies, structure and timelines for implementation.

He also had an opportunity to learn of  the challenges and achievements NFTRC has hitherto experienced.

He said his newly formed department wishes to bring other organisations on board and urged NFTRC to take advantage of the initiative and move together with BIUST to achieve their goals.

Dr Selaolo said he was impressed by the fact that NFTRC hosts students on industrial  internship and co-supervises research some.

He advocated for both institutions to revisit their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to include other important aspects that would be mutually beneficial.

NFTRC’s Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile had earlier given an overview of the organization where he expressed gratitude that a just started department seeks to identify synergies that validate the working relations that could take both NFTRC and BIUST far.

In response, Dr Selaolo said NFTRC is known for product development and it is one of the institutions that needs to be assisted, hence the visit to forge a partnership.

The visit ended with a tour of NFTRC laboratories.


2014-10-17 - “NFTRC shines”

Ms Keneetswe Rose Moteu and Ms Tshegofatso Baseki say National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) training is beneficial. 

The duo is amongst trainees partaking in the on-going Fruits and Vegetables processing training.

Ms Tshegofatso, who is working for Shield Security contracted by NFTRC, said enrolled for the training because no specialised equipment is required and raw materials are easily accessible.

She said over and above her formal work, she will now venture into mixed vegetable and lerotse jam processing.

She said though she hails from Kanye, she was not aware that they have a facility that can change many lives in the village, adding that her biggest task now is to market the centre’s services to people of Kanye.

Meanwhile, Ms Keneetswe Rose Moteu said her journey into food processing started last year after enrolling for Food Processing and Preservation at Rural Training Centre (RTC) in Pelotshetlha.

Keneetswe said after completing her training, she requested for sponsorship from Social Welfare Office in Mathethe to upgrade her skills but to no avail.

This, she said did not demoralise her, as a zealous person willing to realise her dreams, she formed a youth group in an effort to seek sponsorship from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

She said as the boat was about to sink, the Gender Affairs Office in Kanye, communicated with her that her name was forwarded to them by Social Welfare Office in Mathethe and she was booked a place at NFTRC for fruits and vegetables processing training.

She said the training will advance her skills as she has been making (mixed vegetable) atchar and she will now venture into other products like jam.


2014-10-10 - NFTRC attends Moshupa secondary schools fair

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was amongst stakeholders at the Moshupa Secondary Schools career fair hosted by Baitirile Junior Secondary School.

The career fair was held under the theme “Employment a key to one’s better future”.

NFTRC’s Keontse Mothibedi advised students to venture into food processing to develop a food-secure Botswana.

He said if they venture into food processing they would be not only be creating employment for themselves but for others, helping   government’s import substitution      efforts and diversifying Botswana’s economy .

He urged them to contact NFTRC anytime as the organisation is always ready to assist .

The objectives of the fair were to relate subjects to careers, be able to know value, skills and interests related to   career choice, emerging opportunities, and to use skills to create employment opportunities.

When officially opening the event, Kgosi Kgabosetso Mosielele encouraged students to take their school work seriously, as education is the key to everything in the modern world .

He urged students to consider opening their own businesses to address unemployment and industrialise Botswana, reminding students that they are being sensitised at an early age because “Mosele wa pula o epiwa go sa le gale”.

The event, which was an eye opener to completing Junior Certificate (JC) and Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) students, comprised Moshupa Senior Secondary School, and the junior secondary schools of Mmanana, Diratsame, and the host Baitirile.

NFTRC showcased its products and services.

2014-10-10 - QMS course beneficial

This week, Quality Matters (Pty) Ltd’s Tatlhego Kooneeng workshopped the last group of National Food Technology Research (NFTRC) staff members on Quality Management System (QMS).

The course objective was to bring all NFTRC staff members on board to embrace the system as the organisation runs towards certification ISO 9001:2008.

The Weekly Bulletin team interviewed some of the participants and this is what they had to say:

Godiraone Lefatshe said before the course he knew QMS existed at NFTRC but neither understand it fully, nor its benefits.

He said he is delighted as he learnt what QMS is and how it is going to benefit his professional growth, as well as NFTRC as an organisation.

He said learnt that QMS is what he does every day, but the system advocates for quality,  documentation,   records-keeping for traceability and organisational excellence.

Gloria Molefe said the course was to align the relevance of her vast experience in QMS with applicable aspects within NFTRC. She said during her tertiary education she did a five-month course on Food Safety and Quality, which covered all systems of QMS.

She added that at her department they have reviewed their documentation and have already started               implementing QMS. 

She said QMS will be beneficial to NFTRC as it will improve delivery and enable continuous improvement.  

Omphile Petros said the course has put her on board regarding QMS as she did not know anything about it and its significance. 

She said she now knows that QMS is basically her daily activities transformed into quality-oriented steps, adding that she learnt that communication plays a vital role in all QMS.

Omphile said QMS is a quick road to delivery as it provides the required steps regarding issues relating to Human Resource (HR) management.


2014-09-19 - A healthy and productive workforce

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last Friday joined other stakeholders at the Southern District Workplace Wellness Day.

The event, which was held at Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) grounds, was to create awareness about healthy living as well as introduce physical fitness to the workforce for them to be productive.

It was held under the theme: “A healthy and productive workforce towards 2016”.

It started with a walk from Rural Administration Centre (RAC) to BOFWA grounds, followed by such activities as aerobics, tug of war, football, netball and health screening for HIV/AIDS and blood pressure.

In his welcome remarks, the Ngwaketse Council  Secretary’s Representative, Mr Vincent Kenosi said exercise is critical to reduce the escalating rates of lifestyle diseases.

The guest speaker, Ngwaketse Landboard Secretary Mr M. Khuduego said such activities not only create awareness on healthy living but also strengthen  working relationships.

Mr Khuduego said healthy living is one’s responsibility, adding that prevention is indeed better than cure.

He encouraged the participants to heed all advice from health workers,  urging them to join private gyms to keep healthy as well as visit health facilities for regular check-ups.


2014-09-19 - Progress on QMS

The Quality Management System (QMS) team has revived its Friday meetings.

The revival follows new resolve to get NFTRC ISO 9001:2008 certified come February 2015.

The team has vowed to take the meetings seriously to ensure that all certification requirements are met.

To ensure all NFTRC staff are on board, the consultant Quality Matters (Pty) Ltd will conduct a     refresher course for staff that has not been trained on QMS from the 23-24 September 2014.

NFTRC staff members are encouraged to continue ensuring that their daily activities are QMS compliant at all times and keep customers satisfied.


2014-09-19 - Palatable tasting day

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) recently participated at the palatable tasting day for sorghum at Dibongwane lands in the Tonota West Extension Area.

The event, which was held under the theme: “Choosing the right seeds in aspects of food security” was hosted by Tonota West Farmers committee.

The focus of the day was on sorghum, where six varieties of sweet sorghum (both red and white) were prepared into stiff porridge and sour porridge and then subjected to consumer acceptance tests. 

Ms Tumelo Tlhong and Mr Mompati Molao represented NFTRC at the event.


2014-09-05 - NFTRC at National Agricultural Show

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) continued its efforts to  get in touch with its stakeholders by participating at the just ended National Agricultural Show.

The show, billed for 25-30 August 2014, was held under the theme: “Transforming Agriculture in the wake of climate change”.

 It gave stakeholders an opportunity to show the abundant agricultural resources in Botswana as well as to bring people together to enjoy what the agricultural sector has to offer.

NFTRC also used the event to scout  for potential food processors by exhibiting its products and services as well as conducting consumer acceptance of watermelon juice. 

Those who tasted the watermelon juice said they were impressed with the product and would buy it should it be in the market.

Those who visited the stall showed keen interest on NFTRC training and promised to attend.

Meanwhile, when officially opening the show, the Vice President, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the theme was a wakeup call for farmers not to rely on rainfed agriculture, but  to also adopt modern technologies, like proper husbandry, irrigation and soil fertilisation, that would assist them to produce enough food for Botswana.

Dr Kedikilwe said to move the agricultural sector forward, stakeholders need to come together to take stock of themselves to see whether what they are doing is still relevant and select the proper modern technologies  to enhance the production of sufficient food.

He encouraged the farmers to embrace these kind of events despite the challenges of the weather because the show is about benchmarking and learning for one can improve.



2014-09-05 - NFTRC sensitises students

Over the last week, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC)’s Keontse Mothibedi had his hands full sensitising students from various schools on NFTRC products and services.

The students from such schools as New Kanagas primary, Mariba Junior Secondary’s Junior Achievement Botswana and Tsabong Junior took advantage of the schoolsholidays to visit.

Keontse informed the students that being enlightening about  NFTRC  services at their age, would influence their future as per the Setswana saying “lore lo ojwa le sale metsi”.

He urged them to consider food processing and packaging as careers for them to help realise the dream of making Botswana food secure.

Students applauded NFTRC for availing them the opportunity.


2014-09-05 - Naftec Investment interns on board

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) this week welcomed four graduate interns that will be seconded to the horticultural processing plant in Selebi Phikwe.

The four Mr Odaka Modongo, Mr Tema Kotlhao, Ms Kelebogile Ntebo Kgotlaetsho and Mr Emmanuel Ndlovu will be temporarily housed at NFTRC until the plant comes to life.

Mr Odaka Modongo and Mr Tema Kotlhao, are Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology graduates from the Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) and are  tasked with product development.

They promised  to work hard to meet their targets.

While Ms Kelebogile Ntebo Kgotlaetsho is a Marketing Degree graduate from Inti College in Malaysia, tasked with marketing activities.

Kelebogile said she will make Batswana trust and love the products that would be produced in Selebi Phikwe.

Mr Emmanuel Ndlovu, a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business graduate from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Botswana said his aim is make labeling and branding of products of international standards, to ensure that consumers accept them and make them household favourites.


2014-09-02 - NFTRC attended BAMB food show

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was amongst stakeholders at the first ever Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) traditional food show.

The show was held at the Botswana Craft under the theme: “Dijo Tsa Rona”. It was a platform to commercialise traditional food and open opportunities to have them in restaurants and hotels. 

The show was blessed with a variety of events such as tasting of traditional dishes, fashion show and live entertainment by local and international artists.

NFTRC showcased its indigenous and veldt processed products. It was also an opportunity to raise awareness about processing of indigenous foods for commercialisation.


2014-09-02 - NFTRC hosts Mozambique delegates

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) this week hosted delegates from Mozambique.

The delegation was led by National Director for Human Resources Development and Capacity Building for      Science and Technology in the Ministry of Science and Technology Dr Alsacia Atanasio.

The aim of the tour was to explore possible collaboration areas with NFTRC.

The delegates were welcomed by Acting Managing Director Dr Martin Kebakile, who also gave an overview of NFTRC.

When commenting on the overview of NFTRC, Dr Atanasio said there are many possible areas of collaboration looking at services provided by NFTRC.

She said the two could collaborate in the areas of Nutrition, food processing, food safety and health.

She revealed that they are currently carrying out a study on food equivalent table; comparing nutritional composition of modern foods with wild foods which can help people living in rural communities.

 Dr Atanasio said they would be happy to host NFTRC team in Maputo.

The Mozambican delegation was accompanied by Mr Tlhabelo Mmusi from Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


2014-09-02 - Progress on QMS

National Food Technology Research Centre’s ISO 9001:2008 certification journey continues with February 2015 as D-day. 

As workshops have already been held to sensitise staff on the Quality Management System (QMS), it is now time for implementation and self audit.

The Weekly Bulletin encourages all staff to introspect.

Ask yourself:

 · Am I  ready for this certification

· Have I mapped my individual processes and am I following them

· Am I  educating myself about other departments' processes

· Am I  striving to satisfy my customers

Let us continue improving on  our daily activities in the build-up to the impending certification.


2014-08-08 - NFTRC at Tswapong North agric show

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last week showcased its products and services at the Tswapong North District agricultural show.

The show, which was held in Maunatlala, also provided an opportunity for NFTRC to scout for potential entrepreneurs as it brought a diverse section of the population together.

It was held under the theme was: “transforming agriculture in the wake of climate change”.

The show brought together exhibitors not only to showcase or sell their products, but to interact and learn from one  another.

When officially opening the show, the Chief Executive of Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, Mr Cross Kgosidiile encouraged Batswana to utilise early rains to maximise the benefit of the weather conditions as they are no longer     reliable.

Mr Kgosidiile also encouraged Batswana to change their mindset and utilise modern methods through the assistance of Ministry of Agriculture that would improve their crops and  animals, adding that nowadays relying only on rainfall is too risky.

He urged farmers to be committed in whatever they do and work with institutions like NFTRC to improve their product bases and diversify the economy.

Those who visited the NFTRC stall appreciated the centre’s efforts saying the interactions were very enlightening.


2014-08-08 - Road to ISO9000:2008 certification

Quality Management System (QMS) is still one of  National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC)’s top priorities as the 14 December 2014 deadline still stands.

Therefore NFTRC staff is urged to implement and review their processes in readiness for audits to meet the December deadline.

Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile, has announced the appointment of Dr Bernard Bulawayo as Management Representative (MR) replacing Dr Mary Binta.

Dr Kebakile also said a consulting company, Quality Matters (Pty) Ltd; will assist the QMS           committee to fast track the certification process.


2014-07-25 - NFTRC Vision 2016 and Bot50 activities

Government, through her different ministries’ inter-departmental committees on Vision 2016 and Project Bot50 (50th anniversary of independence celebrations), has started building up towards the year 2016, when she will be celebrating both her 50 years of independence, as well as achievements.

There was a need therefore to come up with a      committee which would spearhead preparations for these events for the agricultural sector, hence the call for inclusion of all of the Ministry’s departments, parastatals and companies. 

Membership thus comprises representatives from the Departments of Agriculture,  Information and Public Relations (DAIPR); the Department of Agricultural   Research (DAR); the National Master-Plan for Arable Agriculture and Dairy Development (NAMPAADD); the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC); the Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB); Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) and National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) – represented by Mr Selalelo Mpotokwane.

This year’s Vision 2016 awareness commemorations shall be held in Tsootsha (Kalkfontein), in the Gantsi District, under the theme "LIVING THE VISION – YA ME LE WENA” from 25-31 August 2014. 

Selalelo travelled to Gantsi with other committee members on 14th July 2014.  He said there was need for the committee to visit Gantsi in order to appreciate progress on the ground, and to see how best they could assist their counterparts at the Gantsi Agricultural Office.

He said as an activity prior to the trip, committee members had been asked to submit write-ups on their institutions, highlighting their history and notable achievements since independence (inception, in the case of NFTRC).  It was advised that such write-ups would be more appealing if they included pictures – to this end, Selalelo prepared and submitted a Powerpoint document entitled “The History and Achievements of NFTRC”.

During the trip the committee visited a horticultural project, a vegetable garden at Chobokwane Primary School and a poultry one in Tsootsha with a community member as beneficiary; these beneficiaries were selected to showcase government’s efforts at improving citizens’ livelihoods at the Vision 2016 awareness commemorations. 

Selalelo said it was established upon questioning the garden’s caretaker, Ms. Keikantsemang Keatametse, that she was interested in processing of the horticultural produce, and it was agreed that arrangements for training an identified group, by NFTRC, would be done with the relevant Agricultural Officer Mr. Ishmael Matsau. 

During the same trip, Selalelo also presented a paper titled “Technology Transfer as an Enabler in the Development of Food Manufacturing Industries – Kgalagadi, Gantsi and Ngamiland” at Vision 2016’s 1st Regional Conference held in Gantsi.


2014-07-18 - NFTRC trains participants on packaging

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last week trained eight participants on packaging of food grains.

Four of the participants were sponsored by Mahalapye Sub District Council while others were self  sponsored.

NFTRC's Anna Nkwe Mosele applauded the participants for being free and interactive, which she said made their stay enjoyable.

 She said they also taught facilitators other traditional techniques of managing food.

She said the training was just the beginning of a good working relationship  between them and NFTRC.

One of the participants, Ms Boitumelo Molosiwa applauded NFTRC facilitators for delivering training in a more understandable manner and provided a conducive environment for them, which made learning easier and enjoyable.

Ms Molosiwa said she is going to encourage others to come for packaging training, especially street vendors as it has health benefits and can increase sales.


2014-07-18 - Weekly Bulletin turns 5

It feels like the 17th July 2009 was just yesterday when the first issue of the Weekly Bulletin hit our desktops. 

Yesterday marked the fifth year of the Weekly Bulletin’s existence and what a journey it has been.

The journey was not smooth at all, but we put our best brain power forward to ensure that our customers got what they deserve.

The Weekly Bulletin crawled, walked and it is now running by covering all NFTRC events driven by the creativity, hard work, passion as well as willingness to perform by the team honoured to    produce it and its legion of supporters.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our valuable customers for not only their readership but also their meaningful contributions - making the Weekly Bulletin what it is today.

We would also like to make special mention of Mr Selalelo Mpotokwane who is always willing to lend a hand.

He once commended the Weekly Bulletin Team for coming up with the bulletin week after week, adding that it gives a representative and reliable record of what goes on in the organisation.

To those who have not made any contributions we say come on board, your contributions will assist us grow.



2014-07-18 - BCA interns bid NFTRC goodbye

Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) student interns’ stay with National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) has come to end.

The group which consisted of Ms Kopelo Precious Mosimanegape Ms Masego Lilly Bontsi, Ms Goabaone Tebango, Ms Boemo Bakani, Ms Tshireletso Mashumba and Mr Oratile Bernard Kgalaeng was with NFTRC for six weeks and they were attached at Food Technology Department.

The group ended their tenure with presentations about what they have learnt at NFTRC and the products they processed.

When commenting on the presentations, Dr Bernard Bulawayo said the group came at a opportune time when NFTRC was processing products for the Open Day, adding  that the interns played a major role in processing the products thus giving them the much needed first hand experience in their industrial attachment.

The students said they were happy to have played a vital role in the preparations for NFTRC Open Day, while the presentations helped them a lot as they would add more value to their attachment reports.

They said they enjoyed their stay at NFTRC as they have learned a lot, adding that they would appreciate more if NFTRC could provide more computers for student interns to enable them to carry out their research activities. 

They expressed their sincere gratitude to their supervisors who were friendly, cooperative and willing to help them anytime and also grateful to all NFTRC staff for making their stay warm and enjoyable.


2014-07-18 - Breastfeeding: A dying zest in Botswana

It is official – Most Batswana mothers do not breastfeed, even though breast milk is arguably the best gift a mother can give to her infant. 

This was the centre of debate at an Infant and Young Child Feeding Workshop  hosted by National Food Technology   Research Centre (NFTRC) in Palapye on July 11, 2014. 

Findings of the study conducted by NFTRC on the “The use of isotopes in assessing the exclusivity of breastfeeding and its impact on the nutritional status of women in Botswana”, indicated that none of the women included in the study were exclusively breastfeeding at first six months of their children’s lives as recommended by the World Health Organisation. 

The low rates of exclusive breastfeeding are possibly contributing to the poor nutritional status of children under the age of five. 

The Botswana Health Survey shows that in the year 2007, 13.5%, 7.2% and 25.9% of children were under-weight, wasted and stunted respectively according to the National Center for Health Statistics Reference (NCHS).


2014-07-11 - NFTRC hosts a PhD student

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) is hosting Ms Tecklah Usai, a Zimbabwean PhD student and Lecturer from Midlands State University in Zimbabwe who would be with NFTRC for four weeks.

Ms Usai said she is here on a research analysis, designing of a dietary regimen and lifestyle guidelines for people who are prone to gastro esophageal reflux disease.

She said the aim of the analysis is to look for foods that buffer acids because the reflux is caused by   acids that come up from the stomach to esophagus.

She said she brought with her brown rice, millet, rapoko and would buy fruits and vegetables locally that would be used for analysis. 

She said during the analysis she would observe the quantities of nutrients in the meals, figuring out nutrient-nutrient interaction and how they bond to each other so that they can be processed by the body.

Ms Usai said the analysis would help her understand how food can be combined to solve a problem/disease, in particular heartburn and it will also help her to attain her PhD.

She said the analysis would not only benefit her, but the nation of Zimbabwe at large because she is going to prepare a report which will be accessible to everyone, adding that NFTRC will also benefit as she is going to exchange the information with the institution and Batswana would be able to access the information that would assist those who have the same problem.

She said as a lecturer, she would be able to teach her students on how to prepare meals that would save health problems and also impart the knowledge on how to combine different foods.

Ms Usai said her reception at NFTRC was good, even though she could not speak common  Setswana sayings but hoped to grasp some as time goes on.

She gave her gratitude to NFTRC for allowing her to use the equipment that is effective on nutrient analysis as they do not have such in Zimbabwe, adding that this would also help her to have hands-on training on equipment as she is learning a lot and she is now able to prepare samples for analysis.



2014-07-11 - Omphile joins NFTRC

Ms Omphile Petros has joined National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) as a graduate intern, attached at Human Resources and Administration Department.

Omphile pursued Advanced Diploma in Business Management and Degree in Business Studies at Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies (GIPS).

She believes NFTRC is full of professionals, this will encourage her to work to the best of her ability with the hope that she would eventually grow professionally.

Her expectation at NFTRC is to work with staff who are leaders, cooperative, understanding, helpful and who will provide necessary support to her.

Omphile said prior to joining NFTRC, she knew about the organisation but did not know what exactly it does, so being at NFTRC is will be able to grasp more information and ultimately utilise the it for her own benefit.

She said she was given a warm and friendly reception on her first day and hopes that would sustain her during her stay.

Omphile will be with NFTRC for the period of two years.


2014-07-11 - Dr Mosetlha bids NFTRC goodbye

Dr Kabo “Kaboom” Mosetlha, a Senior Research Scientist at Food Chemistry Department is saying goodbye to NFTRC today.

Dr Mosetlha who hails from Sebina joined National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on the 10th October 2008 as a Research Scientist at the then Biochemistry Department (now Food Chemistry Department).

He said it was not his first interaction with the institution as he was attached at NFTRC for three months in 2001 as a second year student from University of Botswana.

He said he worked very hard as a Research Scientist and before long he was promoted to the position of Senior Research Scientist in March 2011. 

Dr Mosetlha said while at NFTRC he gained a valuable work experience and he would like to thank NFTRC employees (past and present) who had an input into shaping him into the person he is today.

He extended his sincere gratitude to members of the Food Chemistry Department for their time and understanding in their fruitful working relations they had for the past five years.

He said he would like to thank NFTRC Management for the opportunities of professional and personal development that he was offered during his stay at NFTRC.

He added that he will always have fond memories of his time at NFTRC and he will especially miss the social interactions that he had with all NFTRC staff outside working hours.  

Dr Mosetlha said he will be joining Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) on the 23rd July 2014.


2014-07-04 - Kalamare community sets new trend

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was part of history in the making at the maiden Kalamare Citizen Empowerment Fair.

 The objective of the two-day event was to bring    private sector service providers, implement retailers and government departments to one place to interact with the community and give them information on ways to improve their livelihoods.

On the first day, organisations were afforded an opportunity to present on their products and services as well as how the community can access such after the usual official portion of events.

NFTRC presented on potential business opportunities and appropriate food processing technologies for the Shoshong constituency.

The Botswana Young Farmers Association was among the biggest supporters of the event, as it sponsored the design and printing of the event programme as well as having a big presence just by the entrance of the venue.

It is worth noting that there was a large presence of young unemployed people, who showed interest in coming to NFTRC for training in food processing.

In an area that is greatly well endowed with veldt products, NFTRC’s choice of exhibits was slanted towards morama products, as the bean is reportedly abundant in the constituency, melon jams and juices to give the residents a live show of the area’s potential.


2014-07-04 - NFTRC joins others in visits to Moshupa Sub DEDC projects

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on Monday joined other stakeholders of District      Economic Development Committee (DEDC) to tour and assesses poverty eradication beneficiaries’ projects in the Moshupa Sub-District.

The team visited projects in Ranaka, Lekgolobotlo, Ntlhantlhe and Magotlhwane, which included small stock, fashion design, tuck shop and bakery.

One of the beneficiaries based in Ranaka, Ms Kedidimetse Ramasu, a baker, expressed gratitude to government for what it has offered her.

Ms Ramasu said her dream is to grow her baking business to start competing with big entrepreneurs in the     industry in future.


2014-07-04 - Dr Zvidzai visits NFTRC

Dr Cuthbert Zvidzai, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department in Food Science and Technology at Chinhoyi University in Zimbabwe recently visited National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) at the invite of management, to present on his research on edible insects, their nutritional contents for human consumption and how they are  prepared.

Dr Zvidzai said NFTRC has a state of the art equipment for research and research analysis, so he anticipates research links between NFTRC and Chinhoyi University.

He said he is hopeful to comeback to NFTRC to enrich the papers he is currently working on, adding that he has also had got interactions with some expects in Botswana doing research on insects.

Meanwhile, a lecturer, who is also a student at Chinhoyi University in Zimbabwe, Mrs Tecklah Usai is attached at NFTRC to do her food analysis with the assistance of Dr Boitshepo Keikotlhaile.


2014-06-06 - NFTRC sponsors The Movement Kanye

As part of its Corporate Social Investment Programme, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last week sponsored an event hosted by The Movement Kanye.

NFTRC promoted healthy living through proper eating by sponsoring the event with fruits.

The event was a memorial service for the fallen brethren due to car accidents, murder, rape and other social ills.

The memorial service kicked off with a walk of freedom from Mongala Mall to Bee Gee (BG).  It was held under the theme “Kanye my home, its safety is my responsibility”.

The Movement Kanye is a youth movement against rape, murder, violence, abuse and crime. 


2014-06-06 - BCA students at NFTRC

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) this week received six students from Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) on six weeks attachment.

The group of second year Bachelor of Science students are all majoring in Food Science and     Technology.

The group of Ms Kopelo Precious Mosimanegape, Ms Masego Lilly Bontsi, Ms Goabaone Tebango, Ms Boemo Bakani, Ms Tshireletso Mashumba and Mr Oratile Bernard Kgalaeng. is attached at Food Technology             Department.

The students said they were well received by NFTRC staff, thus creating a conducive environment for them to do their practical learning.

They said BCA does not have most food processing equipment available at NFTRC, hence they are advancing and diversifying their skills.

They said they have struck gold at NFTRC, as they are interested in opening a seswaa canning factory in the future rather than seeking employment.


2014-06-06 - NFTRC benefits from TS

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) is amongst organisations that are benefiting from the newly introduced Tirelo Sechaba Programme (TS).

The programme administered by Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is meant for  unemployed Batswana youth to add value to their communities by providing services in different organisations within their home villages.

Annah Ngwanasejo has joined NFTRC on a four year stint as part of the TS programme.

Annah, who is attached at Human Resources and Administration said she is grateful for the opportunity and thanked NFTRC for the good reception and warmth she receives everyday from the caring, loving, supportive and not discriminative staff.

She said NFTRC is a good starting point in her working environment as she had never been in a professional working place before, adding that the organisation is providing her with an opportunity to learn new aspects about professionalism and life.

Annah said she will execute all her duties to the best of her abilities, with love and patience.

Anna holds a BGCSE certificate from Seepapitso Senior Secondary School.


2014-05-28 - NFTRC shines in Qabo

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was amongst stakeholder’s that participated at the just ended Poverty eradication workshop in Qabo.

NFTRC was represented by Mr Abia Sebaka and Ms Tumelo Tlhong.

Abia said they demonstrated fruit and vegetable processing as well as food packaging technologies.

He said they focused on jam processing because most Poverty Eradication Programme projects have a component on backyard gardening, which produces the requisite raw materials required.

He said Food Packaging Technology emphasised simplified unit operation in packaging for Small, Medium & Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).

Abia said packaging technology targeted agriculture and veldt products, adding that 15 beneficiaries were inducted on the selected technologies.

He said the reception was good because NFTRC’s approach is one of the few that have practical components that is enjoyed by most beneficiaries.

The workshop was held under the theme ‘Poverty Eradication:  Towards Dignity for All’.


2014-05-28 - Keontse rejoins NFTRC

Keontse Mothibedi, a former graduate intern, has joined NFTRC as Assistant Public Relations Officer on a two year contract.

Keontse said he is delighted to join NFTRC again, adding that he is grateful to the Public Relations and NFTRC management for recognising his capabilities and opting to engage him.

He promised to contribute significantly to the delivery of the NFTRC mandate 

He said he is looking forward to engaging with all intellectuals to grow him professionally, and prepare himself for the challenges of the future. Keontse called for teamwork, saying he is determined to work with all NFTRC staff.

Keontse joins NFTRC from Celiat Construction and Pl

2014-05-28 - Godiraone and Tshenolo joyful

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) has engaged Godiraone and Tshenolo as Assistant User Support Technicians.

The duo, started life here as graduate interns, attached at the Information Technology Department

Godiraone Lefatshe said he is grateful that NFTRC offered him a job, and thanks God for transforming his dream into reality as it was always his dream to work for NFTRC. He said this is a great way to start his life, since he was struggling to find a job after graduation.

He said he achieved a lot as a graduate intern with new challenges that he surpassed, adding that he managed to come up with some useful virus elimination too, l which helped him to remove angry birds’ virus which was posing a threat to the NFTRC staff.

Godiraone said since he is now a NFTRC employee, he will put more effort in executing his duties and sacrifice his personal time for NFTRC to come up with fresh ideas for the benefit of the company.

He said IT is a challenge on its own as it changes everyday, forcing them to research and keep up to satisfy their customers.

Godiraone said he feels home at NFTRC as staff members treat him like part of the family.

He said at IT, they work as a team and he is grateful to his boss because he is helping him grow professionally.

Tshenolo Nageng said he is happy and grateful to have been offered a job at NFTRC as Assistant User Support Technician.

He said he really learnt a lot from his colleagues to become a better professional and he will like to deeply thank NFTRC staff for having so much faith in him.

He said he has achieved some of his personal goals and still looking forward to achieve more because now he is recognised as a NFTRC employee.

Tshenolo said since there is a great motivation now, personally his morale will be high and better results will be produced.

He said since technology is growing almost every day, it is quite difficult to keep up with it, but users expect Information Technology personnel to be up to speed. He said he does a lot of research to learn new technology.

He said NFTRC family is very accommodating, thus making his stay enjoyable.


2014-05-16 - Onalenna’s equipment handed over

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC)’s trained and equipped poverty eradication beneficiary Onalenna Benjamin is now ready to start her own business.

Last Friday, Onalenna got the nod following a demonstration of her skills and wizardry to NFTRC’s Anna Nkwe-Mosele and Abia Sebaka in her mother’s kitchen in Makobo village in the current Tonota North Constituency.

The training was NFTRC’s way of not only showing that its technologies work but that they can be used even in somebody’s kitchen.

The NFTRC team also handed over equipment that she would be using to run her business, which includes: a gas stove; 48 kg cylinder gas; stainless steel pots, buckets and bowls as well as raw materials and ingredients for processing fruits and vegetables. 

Onalenna is currently focusing on processing Lerotse jam and mixed vegetable artchar.

NFTRC wishes Onalenna all the best as she delves into the world of business to support herself and her family in kicking out the enemy called POVERTY.


2014-05-16 - Khurutshe primary school visits

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on Monday hosted pupils and teachers from Khurutshe Primary School in the Kgatleng   District.

This marked the first batch of visits by schools during the current school holidays.

The aim of the visit was for avail the pupils an opportunity to appreciate what NFTRC is all about as well as to encourage to develop a passion for science subjects at tender age.

Ms Thatayaone Kepaletswe welcomed the visitors and guided them as they toured NFTRC facilities.

The pupils were very excited about the visit as for some this was the first time for them to leave their home village.


2014-05-16 - So far so good, say Assistant Research Scientists

After spending the past six months at National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC), Assistant  Research Scientists had a chat with Weekly Bulletin on how their stay has been and what they anticipate going forward.

This is what they had to say:

Gloria Molefe said her first six months at NFTRC had been the most exciting after graduating since she had to represent herself and the academic institution that prepared her for the job.

Gloria said her stay at NFTRC has been both fulfilling and engaging as she has been learning new things almost every day.

She said having been at NFTRC had been a great achievement on its own but the fact that she has been able to deliver, contribute and accomplish most of the work assigned to her has bolstered her confidence.

She said her urge to get better and intention to make a difference had been the engine behind waking up every day to come to work.  

She said she had not experienced challenges so far  because of the assistance and team work that has been portrayed in the workplace.

She said she has been able to settle and adapt into the work environment without difficulties hence she believes this is the right place for her to start her work life as she is being well groomed.

Gloria said her relationship with her colleagues has been convincing enough and improved.

Kitso Koboyangaka said he has a great team which works well together and is always available to one another for help and feedback.

Kitso said he has learnt proper team work and communication, which makes things to just fall into place. He said he has learnt that one should always seek help quickly whenever s/he faces a challenge.

He said knowing that he can always approach his supervisors with anything whenever really motivates him to come to work and give his all to any given task.

He said there have not been many challenge so far.

He says with NFTRC’s very small staff size, most things should just fly with very fewer hiccups.

He called for better communication within departments and across the entire organisation to improve delivery even more.

Kitso said he loves everyone at NFTRC and has not had any problems with anyone so far, adding that he intends to keep it that way.

Richard Makhura said his stay at NFTRC has been enjoyable over the past six months, adding that he grew professionally, got to learn new analytical methods and techniques of food analysis.

Richard said he has achieved the targets and goals that he set for himself, which in turn made him achieve all the objectives and assignments he was given. He said he always makes it a point that he meets his deadlines.

He said he is his own motivator, as he has a desire and zeal to produce good results in everything that he does.

He said his relationship with NFTRC staff is good as there is mutual respect, which makes work              enjoyable.

Thamiso Magowe said the past six months have been exciting. She said coming to NFTRC has given her the opportunity to apply what she had learnt at school, as well as give her personal and professional growth as a young person who is new to the working environment.

Thamiso said working with a passionate and highly knowledgeable team also taught her a lot of things that she could have never learnt in a classroom, giving credence to the Setswana adage ‘dilo makwati di kwatabolotswa mo go ba bangwe’.

She said at the moment she cannot really think of any challenges she encountered and if any they must have been very minor as thus were dealt with right away.

She said currently she and her team are working on some new products and she is certainly looking forward to actually finishing those products.

She said she is also looking forward to seeing those products in the market, which will give her pride knowing that she contributed to such, something she can even share with her children someday when they purchase the products at a retail store, not forgetting having her name on publications.

Thamiso said she gets on well with NFTRC staff as she has not encountered any conflicts with anyone in the past six months even though she does not really know some people from other departments.  She  however hopes that, that will change with time.

Tebogo Loeto said the past six months have been a blessing, landing a contract in  the only and most recognised food research institutions in the country, has been such an    honour and an icing on her  resume.

Tebogo said she has gained a wealth of experience from her superiors as well as the rest of the NFTRC team.

She said from assisting in crucial projects to helping during training, running day to day extension errands such as communicating and assisting clients were just some of her accomplishments.

She says her drive and desire to improve on her skills and knowledge, prompted her to wake up and come to work with an understanding that ‘we live in an era where in order to make it in life one needs to be unique, a cut above the rest’.


2014-05-09 - NFTRC QMS Launch

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) On 29 April 2014 launched its Quality Management System (QMS).

The Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile said as part of its vision is to be an international organisation of excellence NFTRC decided to be ISO 9001certified to be in a position to compete by delivering incredible services.

The QMS Coordinator Dr Mary-Gorettie Binta said a lot has been said about QMS and it is now time for doing, adding that QMS belongs to every individual, as a way to demonstrate commitment to customers.

Dr Binta said QMS is a continuous journey, so staff members should not be dismayed when the auditors come to assess them.

She said QMS will help NFTRC to measure the level of customer satisfaction.

She said when all is done the documents would be submitted to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) for       further auditing.

Dr Kebakile thanked the QMS team for coming up with the manual, adding that even though they went through thick and thin it was appreciated that they   ended up coming up with something tangible. 

He declared that the 29 April 2014 as the beginning of practicing QMS at NFTRC and urged everyone to  conform.


2014-05-09 - Thamaga JSSs’ students empowered

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was on Tuesday among institutions that participated at a Form Three Career Fair hosted by Thamaga Junior Secondary School.

The event, which was held under the theme ‘Education: My right, My future’, was for the four Thamaga junior secondary schools of Letlole-Mosiele, Sekgele, Thobega and Thamaga.

In his welcome remarks, Thamaga JSS School Head Mr Nnoane thanked the organising committee for  putting the important occasion together for students to grasp the right information to choose their future.

Mr Nnoane encouraged students to pay attention to the various presenters and exhibitors  to grasp as much as possible to build brighter futures.

He encouraged those that would not make it for further studies to find something that would uplift their       livelihoods rather than opting for unlawful activities.

Pontsho, ex-student of Thamaga JSS and now a student at Moshupa Senior Secondary School gave a motivational talk to other students saying that Batswana children are entitled to education and that they are lucky because their education is almost free and it is for him as well other students to shape their better future because they live once. 

He encouraged other students to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals.

The guest speaker Mr Uyapo Ndadi urged the students to study hard and refrain from telling themselves that they are living a life,  but start now to secure their   future.

 Mr Ndadi said greatness does not come through shortcuts, therefore they should take their  work very seriously.

 He said it is possible to get through if one is determined, adding that nowadays it is even difficult to be employed through the Ipelegeng programme, what more  for one who lags behind as it would be the survival of the fittest.

He encouraged the students to be what they want to be by pursuing their dreams provided it is lawful and that they should be careful about substances that could destroy their future. 

He encouraged them not to only study for examinations but rather to be better persons.

At the end students visited different stalls for more information.

Students were advised to pass mathematics, science or both in order to further their studies as food scientists, technologists, nutritionists or other sectors like engineering, natural sciences, information technology and medicine.

Students were further encouraged not only to learn mathematics and science but also have passion for other subjects which are critical to Botswana's development.


2014-05-09 - Centre of Excellence for Nutrition Forges Collaboration with NFTRC

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) is in discussion with the Centre of Excellence for    Nutrition – North West University (CEN-NWU) on the possibility of collaborating on indigenous food         research. 

Dr Boitumelo Motswagole said the proposed work would build on the work that NFTRC is already doing on Botswana indigenous foods to assess their potential contribution to nutrient intake and livelihoods.  

Dr Motswagole said recently there has been a realisation of the need to recognise the potential value of indigenous foods in the face of the nutrition transition that is taking place in developing countries. 

She said the nutrition transition among other effects, may lead to reduced utilisation of local and traditional foods which have served to sustain populations in Africa and elsewhere over time; loss of knowledge on these foods including traditional processing methods which could be taken advantage of in addressing food and nutrition security; loss of the food products themselves without specific efforts targeted at conserving the existing food biodiversity (crop or animal).

She said this would in turn reduce the capacity to achieve more sustainable diets that include local food         biodiversity in local and national food systems as well as loss of livelihoods for many families that are engaged in related economic activities

Dr Motswagole said the collaboration would be in the form of NFTRC hosting a PhD student registered with CEN-NWU to look at the contribution of indigenous foods to daily diets in selected localities because the    identification has already been done; determination of relationships between use of indigenous foods at household level with key nutrition and food security indicators in both rural and urban settings, as well as the determination of nutrient contribution of specific indigenous foods coupled with bioavailability and bio accessibility of the nutrients and a study on the supply chain and the contribution to household income from indigenous foods.

She said it is envisaged that NFTRC would benefit by pushing some of the activities planned on indigenous foods through the student’s project. 

She said during the meeting other opportunities were also identified relating to engaging interested assistant  research scientists currently on temporary work at NFTRC in doing some of the work for their MSc in          Nutrition. 

Dr Motswagole said the other opportunity was in populating the indigenous food composition tables.

She said the student would conduct analysis of some nutritional parameters that are still missing in the data   already compiled. 

The student is visiting NFTRC from 05-09 May 2014 to do literature review on what has already been done to get guidance on writing the project proposal. 



2014-04-17 - Selalelo at Vision 2016 Smart Partnership Dialogue

Selalelo Mpotokwane recently attended the Vision 2016 Smart Partnership Dialogue for the North East District, in Masunga.

The event was held under the theme: “Transformation to Prosperity”

Selalelo gave a presentation on “Technology Transfer as an Enabler in the Development of Food-Manufacturing Industries”, under the sub-theme of “Transformation Towards Economic Growth/Diversification”

His presentation’s area of emphasis was that for  technology to be effectively transferred, its recipient ought to be trained and mentored in both product and process development as well as business development.

He discussed NFTRC’s customer-focused approach to research and development programmes in terms of product and process development, skills transfer and quality testing.

Selalelo also shared with workshop participants the products that are considered winners in terms of potential for effective commercialisation such as frozen and canned versions of beef and donkey meat,  seswaa under meat products while under fruit and vegetable products, puréed fruit and berry pulps, juices, jams, fruit rolls/leathers, syrup pickles,  indigenous fruits such as morula, lerotse, watermelon, moretlwa, morogo wa dinawa, dobi, bokhwilo and    vegetable atchar; for cereals and root-crops sorghum mageu, dried ting, as well as sweet potato products, were highlighted; sunflower oil, ditloo-based convenience foods, roasted melon seeds featured under pulses and oilseeds; phane-onion-and-tomato mix, dried phane under insect products; mosukujane, lengana mint teas and motlopi coffee represented the hot beverage category (side-by-side with ice-tea as cold beverage versions, for mosukujane and lengana). 

He highlighted that indigenous foods offer a niche for food manufacturers and consumers, adding that through programmes such as permaculture it is possible to propagate most indigenous plant species.

 He thus said communities should be encouraged to start plantations of species of interest, to be able to assure food manufacturing enterprises of sustainable raw material supplies.

Selalelo underscored the need for the country to be vigilant, especially at borders, to ensure that the movement of plant seeds (e.g. morula nuts, wild melons) and other biological materials that may be unique to Botswana and neighbouring countries is controlled, to avoid foreign countries stealing or eroding Botswana’s genetic material base and subsequently growing such plants (or breeding such animals) and eclipsing the country out of potential business opportunities.


2014-04-17 - NFTRC duo attends QMS implementation course

Mr Rod Nkepu and Dr Minah Mosele recently attended a five-day “Implementation of  Quality Management System (QMS) BOS ISO 9001:2008”, course.

The course is tailored for Botswana by the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to carry out training based on International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO 9001).

The objective of the course is to give participants practical skills to put in place an appropriate quality management system for their organisations.

Participants were expected to achieve 100% attendance, sit and pass an examination to successfully complete the course. 

It is a pleasure to learn that the NFTRC duo did not disappoint and we congratulate them.

We look forward to their major contribution towards NFTRC’s successful implementation of QMS.


2014-04-17 - Easter: What does it mean?

As the Easter holiday is upon us, National Food Technology Research (NFTRC) staff will be heading to different destinations for various reasons. 

Some will be attending church conventions, while  others would be taking a couple of days off work to spend quality time with family and friends.

The Weekly Bulletin wanted to know from the young and vibrant ones what Easter means to them and how they are going to celebrate it.

This is what they had to say:

Susan Thara Sekgweng said Easter for her is reflecting on God’s goodness that her sins are   forever washed away and that she has victory in Christ.  

She said she shall gladly spend Easter with her extended family in Francistown.

Richard Makhura said Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanking Him for dying on the cross for his sins so that he may be saved and sanctified.

He will also be giving thanks to the Almighty for His agape love demonstrated by Him giving His only begotten son to die for the sins of man.

Richard said he will attend church services and also be with family and friends in Palapye.

Kitso Koboyangaka said Easter is that time of the year where one gets to reflect on ones being and purpose in life.

Kitso says it is that time when one needs to be thankful to the master above and just go on and live life without any  regrets.

He said he was not sure how he is going to celebrate the holidays, but hopes to go and see his family in Molepolole.

Tebogo Loeto said someone saw it fit to die for her and then come back to life to protect her forever, which is the ultimate sacrifice, hence she sees Easter as a time to reflect and appreciate the little things she sometimes takes for granted, that is, life, love, family and most especially Jesus.

She said she would definitely be spending quality time with family back home in Rakops.

Basadi Motlhabatlou, said as a Christian, Easter for her is time to acknowledge the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Basadi said she does not have big plans for this Easter holiday, so she will probably go to church as they usually have a lot of conferences lined up during this time.

She said most importantly, she would spend some time with her loved ones and take a break from the hectic work life.


2014-04-11 - NFTRC at 2014 African Food and Nutrition Forum

 National Food Technology Research Centre’s (NFTRC) Drs Boitumelo Motswagole, Lemogang Kwape and Sarah Matenge recently attended the 3rd conference on African Food and Nutrition Forum (AFNF) at University of Botswana.

The forum was held under the theme: “Food Production, Nutrition and Food Security: A Function of Global Policies, Environment and Climate Change”.

The main objectives of the forum were to; create a platform for academics, practitioners and policy makers to dialogue around issues of food production, nutrition and food security in the context of climate change; as well as to explore ways of improving food and nutrition security despite the changing climate patterns in the region.

The three NFTRC staff members were among presenters at the conference, which explored technologies of carving a niche for small scale farmers in the regional trade for staples and exchanged information on the postharvest loss minimisation policies, strategies and technologies available for subsistent farmers.

Dr Matenge said the workshop also created an opportunity for professionals and practitioners in the disciplines of agriculture (food science and food production) and human nutrition to dialogue on common issues.

She said the forum provided a platform to deliberate on the broad areas of climate change and food production, postharvest handling, food processing, food fortification, food security, diet and nutrition.

She said the participants also discussed and approved the draft Terms of Reference of AFNF, which were prepared by the previous committee as well as the proposed logo and the way forward.

The conference was co-organised by University of Botswana, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and Botswana College of Agriculture, Department of Food Science and Technology.


2014-04-11 - NFTRC staff attend chemical risk assessment workshop

 Drs Boitshepo Keikotlhaile and Kabo Mosetlha  recently attended a Chemical Risk Assessment workshop hosted by the Ministry of Health at Botswana Bureau of Standards.

The aim of the workshop, which attracted 20 participants from different institutions involved in food safety in Botswana, was to train scientific assessors in risk assessment of chemicals in relation to specific food items to enable them to evaluate and discuss international risk assessment reports and apply the expertise to the local data to advise the local authorities.

It was organised by the Des Aliments Surs En  African, Caribbean and Pacific (EDES) Programme and financed by the European Union.

Dr Keikotlhaile said the chemicals assessed included heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, acrylamide and mycotoxins.

 She said the chemicals have shown evidence of    being health hazards when present in the diet at  certain levels; therefore they need to be monitored and reduced to curb their effects on communities.

She said the course benefited them because they now have a clear understanding of how chemical risk        assessment is done; the steps that need to be carried out as well as evaluating reports and conclusions that are reached.

Dr Keikotlhaile said the knowledge they acquired would benefit the Food Chemistry department as well as NFTRC, especially on the mycotoxins and pesticides projects.


2014-04-11 - Upgrading of food testing skills

 Ms Odireleng Keipopele recently attended a training workshop on Upgrading of Food Testing Skills for  Scientists in African countries under the aegis of India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS)-11 organised by Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, in India.

Odireleng said the course was mainly about the use of the latest technologies on food safety, such as testing for          residues, contaminants, adulterants and microbial contaminants. 

She said the course attracted 25 participants from ten African countries of South Africa (1), Tunisia (1), Ethiopia (2),   Uganda (2), North Sudan (2), Burundi (2), Rwanda (3), Tanzania (3), Botswana (4) and Ghana (5). 

Participants from Botswana were from National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) and the other two were from Food Control Laboratory in the Ministry of Health in Gaborone.

Odireleng said the workshop involved presentations from specialists from different institutions in India.

She said she benefited a lot in latest trends on testing techniques, which she believes would  enhance NFTRC’s  testing capacity and increase testing scope.

She trusts that the minimal experience and exposure she got would be of crucial importance as she will share it with her colleagues and apply it where it is most needed.


2014-04-11 - NFTRC appointed AFRA’s Designated Centre for Deuterium Dillution Techniques

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) has been appointed as an African Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research and Development (AFRA) Regional Designated Centre for Deuterium Dilution Techniques in Human Nutrition for the English speaking countries in Africa. 

The centre has a pool of experts in this field who have vast experience with the use of this technique.  The experts have participated in various expert missions aimed at assisting colleagues in other AFRA countries in data collection and deuterium analysis.  It has also hosted regional training courses in this field on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

This appointment means the centre provides the following services:

1.      Theoretical and practical training in deuterium dilution techniques in human nutrition

2.      Promotes research and application on deuterium dilution techniques in human nutrition

3.      Upon request from member states, provides advisory services in measuring deuterium enrichment by Fourier Infrared Spectrophotometry(FTIR) for assessment of body composition and human milk intake by breast fed infants

4.        Upon request from member states, analyse biological samples, provide results and if required provide assistance in quality assurance of the methodology as well as data evaluation

5.        Organization of inter-laboratory studies on FTIR analysis of deuterium

6.        Contribute to promote in the region ethical issues in terms of the legal framework, receipt and sending of biological samples 

2014-04-04 - Training on food safety and olive pickling

This week National Food Technology Research    Centre trained six people from Glen Valley Production and Training Farm on food safety and pickling of olives.

The participants are full-time employees at the farm, which started operating in 2006, with the objective to train farmers and agricultural extension officers on irrigated agriculture.

The leader of the group, Ms Kgomotso Rabosielo said the farm came about after a 2004 study between Botswana and Israel showed that olives can do well in Botswana. 

Ms Rabosielo said so far the plants have adapted well to the  Botswana climate and there have not been any problems of diseases and pests.

She said planting of olives was a way of introducing a new crop to diversify from vegetables production to fruit production.

Olives are one of the high value crops with nutritional value and more health benefits.

She said the nine-hectare farm has nine different olive varieties, which are used for both table and oil products.

One of the trainees, Mr Dikgang Seaba said they did not have any olives processing skills, so they decided to come to NFTRC to acquire those skills, adding that they will utilise the skills to pickle the olives to a desirable state for consumption.

Mr Seaba said they have learnt about hygiene, olives processing and how to handle and select the best olives.  He said they have been taught three methods of  pickling olives using water with bicarbonate, salt and citric acid.

The team said after training they will setup a processing plant where farmers will be trained to process olives into table and oil products.

They said as time goes on, they will encourage people to grow olives for themselves, which will be obtained from Tonota tree nursery which propagates olive trees and sell to interested farmers.


2014-04-04 - QMS Progress

On the 1st of April 2014, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) hosted two officials from AON Botswana for a risk management overview and identification exercise.

The main objective of the exercise was to help NFTRC identify potential risks in its business operations.

The Quality Management System (QMS) Coordinator, Dr Mary-Gorettie Binta said after the initial overview, the two officials took departmental heads on a one-on-one risk identification exercise.

Dr Binta said subsequently the facilitators will prepare a risk register, which will also indicate mitigation factors for each risk, adding that the risk register will form part of the preventive action procedure of the  Quality Management System.


2014-04-04 - NFTRC embark on a mission

The Nutrition and Dietetics Department of National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) has     embarked on a mission to set up structures for the  Botswana National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (BOTHANES). 

The purpose of the survey would be to assess the health and nutritional status of Batswana (children and adults) and track changes over time. 

The idea is borrowed from a similar programme in the United States of America (USA).

As South Africa recently completed its own survey, Drs Boitumelo Motswagole and Lemogang Kwape went on a fact finding mission in Cape Town, South Africa, where they met one of the principal investigators, Professor Demetre Labadarios to discuss issues pertaining to planning and conducting such a survey.

Dr Motswagole said the meeting discussed possible focus areas for the programme. 

She said the other issue of discussion was the logistics of conducting the survey at a national level, which she said is the most challenging, especially logistical arrangements. 

She said other issues discussed included data collection and use of modern technology for data capturing and processing, sampling, budgetary considerations and potential sponsors.

Dr Motswagole said Prof. Labadarios offered to share all the tools and manuals used for the South African survey with the team and promised to always be available to assist in every way possible. 

She said it was suggested that NFTRC could sign a memorandum of understanding with Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to formalise the working relations between the two institutions. 

She said Prof Labadarios commended the team for taking the initiative to set up the longitudinal study and encouraged them to be prepared to face all the challenges that could come with such surveys. 

Dr Motswagole said the team now has to meet with relevant stakeholders in Botswana to sell the idea and move a step forward in setting up structures coupled with fund raising.


2014-03-21 - Upgrading of sewage system kicks off

The upgrading of the National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) sewage system finally started after two financial years delay.

The Supplies Officer who is also the Project    Overseer, Mr Oagile Matebejane said work started on 04 March 2014 and it is anticipated to take one and half months to complete, safe for the recent torrential rains, which might delay it.

Mr Matebejane therefore urged staff members to bear with Shumba Projects (Pty) Ltd as there might be some disturbances during that period.

He said the project could have long started but was delayed due to financial constraints and other administrative procedures.


2014-03-21 - NFTRC continues to impart skills

This week National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) continued its efforts to impart skills in fruits and vegetable processing with twenty participants attending.

Most of the participants are self-sponsored, while Gender Affairs department and Poverty Eradication Programme sponsored the others.

They women came from all parts of the country.


2014-03-14 - NFTRC trained potential entrepreneurs

The National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last week trained 28 potential entrepreneurs on fruits and vegetables processing.

Of the 28, 15 were technical and business advisers from Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) offices around the country, eight were Out of School and  Education Training (OSET) learners from Francistown and surrounding villages and five beneficiaries of the Poverty Eradication Programme from Kgatleng District.

The LEA advisers said they were nominated for training to be better able to advice and recommend the training to their clients.

They said they had an opportunity to look at the facilities and ingredients used and were also informed of where to source such ingredients.

Members of the OSET group said they came to NFTRC with no knowledge of processing but they are going back rich.

They said the training was interesting and they would liaise with the OSET department to assist them where possible to start their own businesses.

The leader of OSET group, Ms Gloria Thagane said the group was the second to undergo training at NFTRC. 

Ms Thagane said the first group, which came for Food Safety training is doing well in their bakeries and they are winning tenders to supply schools in Masunga and surrounding areas.

She said the training is very important for OSET learners, some of whom are already in business as they stand a better chance of being assisted by financial institutions.


2014-03-07 - NFTRC trains

As part of the National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC)‘s contribution to the Poverty Eradication Programme, the trio of Sarah Matenge, Tumelo Tlhong and Abia Sebaka was hard at work demonstrating jam processing to a handful of potential beneficiaries during the Pitso at Jamataka.

The demonstration was just to give the participants a glimpse of what the real thing entails, as the environment is not conducive for the proper thing.

The participants were all eager to delve into the task, if the serious looks on their faces was anything to go by.

The NFTRC stall also attracted a lot of visitors, some just curious, some wanting something to taste, but most importantly some who wanted to be informed of the processes/procedures to follow to enroll for training.

One of the trainees was the NFTRC-sponsored beneficiary Onalenna from Makobo, which is about 15            kilometres from Jamataka.

Onalenna’s sponsorship includes training,  equipment as well as accommodation and meals, every time she comes to Kanye for training.

The Pitso, which was held under the theme: Poverty Eradication: A journey from Poverty to Sustainable Livelihoods, was officially opened by the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Dikgakgamatso Seretse.

Mr Seretse encouraged the participants to view the programme as an opportunity to graduate from poverty and not a right.

He said viewing the programme as an opportunity would enable them to eliminate the destructive propensity by some to lean towards a sense of entitlement at every turn.

He called for a change of mindset to prevent a situation where ‘we will forever be deficient in our cause’.


2014-03-07 - Nametso applauds NFTRC

Nametso Lady Phirinyane has left National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC).

Nametso, who joined the centre’s Human Resources Department in September 2009, left on 28 February 2014.

She said her stay at NFTRC was enjoyable, adding the  centre was like a second home to her.

She remembered the thrilling feeling she got when she was first absorbed by NFTRC as a Graduate Intern, which was her first feel of a working environment.

Nametso said NFTRC has helped her grow professionally as she has learnt to deal with different challenges in the Human Resource Office, adding that with her passion for her work and an appetite  for beautiful things, she worked extra hard to achieve her dreams.

She said she gets her strength from her parents who motivate her with their undying love and as well as encouraging her to pray at all times but even harder in difficult times.

Nametso advised NFTRC staff to do all they can to boost their delivery, adding that the impending merger should come so that people can worry about something else.

She said individuals would have their own way of   remembering her, depending on how she touched their lives, but said she is a free soul and a loving person.

The self-declared fashionista said she hopes to be remembered by all things beautiful.

Nametso said she will certainly miss NFTRC and thanked the organisation for giving her the opportunity for growth.

Meanwhile, on the day she left, her former colleagues hosted a lunch in her honour where speakers wished her well in her future endeavours.


2014-02-28 - Workshop on NFTRC 2016 Strategic Plan

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) management and senior officers recently came together to review initiatives for advancing the current institutional Strategic Plan dubbed NFTRC 2016,

The Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile said the purpose of the workshop was to develop a work plan for the year 2014/2015.  

Dr Kebakile said the workshop commenced with a review of successes and failures of NFTRC 2016 to date, followed by a SWOT analysis to scan the institution’s current operational environment. 

Heads of Departments then met with their work groups to discuss and organise their initiatives into departmental work plans, and developed budgets for operationalising the proposed plans, with focus on selecting initiatives, which would give quick results and maximum impact on the national economic landscape.

Dr Kebakile said a number of suggested projects were brought forward by managers and they were given        suggestions for streamlining their projects and activities and were also requested to resubmit their proposals to the Managing Director’s office by end of business on Tuesday 25 February 2014. 

He said a number of departments still came up with too many projects and they were urged to focus resources on only a few so that they can achieve enhanced results.

The plans submitted will now be considered by Executive Management, Research & Development Committee, Management, the Board R&D Committee and the full board. 

He said after getting approval from the board, a Project Memorandum would be developed to request release of the R&D funds from government.

Meanwhile, Dr Kebakile has urged staff to put more that 100% effort on the good work they are doing currently to ensure that planned work is completed timeously to generate a rich collection of high impact outputs.


2014-02-28 - NFTRC attends poverty eradication Pitso in Jamataka

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) will be among stakeholders at Nyeletso Lehuma (Poverty Eradication) Pitso from the 26th February to the 1st March 2014.

The Pitso will be held at Jamataka Village, over 40   kilometres west of Francistown, under the theme: “Poverty Eradication: A journey from poverty to sustainable livelihoods”.

As part of the its contribution to the government’s initiative to eradicate poverty, NFTRC has pledged a free training package on food safety and jam processing for a beneficiary from Matobo Village.

The package, which is estimated at P38, 700 includes free training on jam processing, a starter pack          comprising of jam processing equipment, raw materials, accommodation and meals.

During the Pitso, the beneficiary will participate in the food processing demonstrations to showcase the skills she has acquired from NFTRC.

2014-02-28 - Progress on QMS

The QMS Coordinator, Dr Mary-Gorettie Binta said quotations are being sought from professional auditors, whose task will be to  identify the risks in each department through a workshop for processes owners.

Dr Binta said through this workshop auditors will assess the levels of each risk identified and will later compile a risk register for National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC).

Mitigations will then be compiled against each risk.

She said meanwhile, all the documents are being numbered by Dr Kenneth Johnstone. 

In addition she indicated that there will be a pilot Management Review meeting where Heads of Departments (HODs) will report on the progress of documentation in preparation for certification against BOB ISO 9001:2008.

She said at this meeting HODs will highlight their achievements, challenges and interventions.

Dr Binta said the minutes of the pilot Management Review meeting will however count towards fulfilling one of the  requirements for certification.

She encouraged HODs to ensure documentation, particularly work instructions in their departments, is given serious attention.


2014-02-14 - NFTRC at IKS Workshop

 National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was among stakeholders who attended the 5th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Workshop on Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS).

The 10-12 February 2014 workshop, which was held under the theme: Promotion, Protection, Development and Management of IKS, attracted representatives of governments (SADC member states), international agencies, as well as regional and continental institutions.

Its objective was to provide a platform for communities, corporations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments to engage in a dialogue to seek the best balance between the protection and use of IKS as well as to build on ongoing activities in the SADC region.

The workshop also provided an appropriate forum for countries to jointly review experiences in IKS and plan future actions through a revitalised network of governments and other institutions such as World   Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), World Bank and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

When officially opening the workshop, the Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Mr Johnnie Swartz said he was happy that IKS has attracted intellectuals from Southern Africa and encouraged them to curb their dependence on materials from overseas and start writing about products in their respective countries.

Mr Swartz said the theme is appropriate as Batswana pride themselves with IKS which has continuously adapted from generation to generation by providing food and medicine to improve the livelihoods of people in different communities.

He said hosting the workshop has provided Batswana an opportunity to network through presentations and exhibitions, calling on local exhibitors to explore meaningful knowledge that will strengthen their businesses to grow regionally and globally.

The IKS workshop ran concurrently with exhibitions, which served as a platform to showcase poster projects and products  using IKS.

NFTRC exhibited some of its indigenous products like morama products, packaged farm grains, canned serobe and seswaa, ting and lengangale.


2014-02-14 - QMS team assessed

 The Quality Management System (QMS) team was last week assessed the QMS documentation with Mrs Asha Mam from the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC).

The objective of the session was to get feedback incorporated into the QMS manual and   documentation ready for certification.

When giving a word of encouragement, Mrs Mam said the team had done a wonderful job.

She said for the journey to become easier, the team should cascade the objectives of the manuals to individuals before setting a certification date.

She encouraged the team to energise itself to do things orderly as there is still a lot to be done before certification.

Mrs Mam also encouraged the team members to benchmark with other institutions citing the Kweneng District Council as an example which she said was doing very well.

In her closing remarks, Dr Boitumelo Motswagole thanked the team for being alert during the three-day session and working hard to complete the work. 

Dr Motswagole also thanked Mrs Mam for taking them through the session and giving them quality advice.


2014-02-14 - NFTRC trains on food safety

 This week National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) hosted two-day training on food safety for a group of eight Out of School Education and Training students from Matshelagabedi, Francistown, Mbalambi, Moroka and one from Selebi-Phikwe.

The participants were sentisised on food safety, contaminants, good hygiene practice, personal and environmental       hygiene as well as cleaning and maintenance of equipment.

In her opening remarks, Ms Tumelo Tlhong thanked the participants for taking their precious time and leaving their fields unattended to come to NFTRC to learn this important aspect in their businesses.

Ms Tlhong said their journey will go a long way in strengthening the partnership with NFTRC, adding that they should not fear to communicate with the facilitators whenever they get stuck. 

She said the facilitators hope to find improvements when they visit their businesses because of skills the participants have acquired.

In his closing remarks, Dr Lemogang Kwape applauded the participants for taking the initiative to come to NFTRC to learn about food safety.

Dr Kwape urged the participates not to be discouraged by the huge manual, as it is reference material and to call their facilitators when the need arises.

He encouraged them to work together, learn from each other and utilise the acquired skilled to upgrade their businesses.

One of the participants, Ms Rebecca Sibanda from Moroka said they have come from afar to get the exposure. 

Ms Sibanda promised that the knowledge and skills they have acquired would be utilised appropriately.

She applauded the facilitators for the good job they have done.


2014-02-14 - NFTRC Welcomes New Employees

 The Weekly Bulletin would like to welcome newly employed Research Scientists Ms Susan Thara-Sekgweng (Food Technology) and Ms Basadi Motlhabatlou (Microbiology/Biotechnology).  The duo assumed duty on Monday 3rd February 2014.

Basadi is not new to NFTRC as she was a student intern in Microbiology/Biotechnology from June 2008 to July 2009 before completing her first degree at Vaal University. 

She immediately enrolled for Masters in Biotechnology and graduated in April 2013: CumLaude.

Prior to coming to NFTRC, Basadi worked for Vaal   University for six month as a Laboratory Management Surveyor and later as Lab Technician at the Botswana Agricultural College, Department of Animal Science Production for three months.

Basadi said she enjoys research, likes to be challenged and she is very interested in publishing, which is why she has joined NFTRC.

Meanwhile, Susan said she had been working for Bolux Group Pty (Ltd) on contract for the past three years.

She said she worked one year as a Quality Assistance Manager and two years as a Pasta Production Manager.

She said she is looking forward to new challenges and new expertise at NFTRC.

The duo said they hope to enjoy their stay at NFTRC and they are looking forward to work well with NFTRC staff.


2014-02-03 - Dr Motswagole attends M&E Course

Dr Boitumelo Stokie Motswagole recently attended a five-day Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Course at Stellenbosch University’s School of Public Leadership.

Dr Motswagole says the aim of the introductory course was to lay the foundation for monitoring and evaluating programmes and/or projects. 

She said the main objective the course; whose participants were 99% South African was to  instill monitoring and evaluation systems and practices that focus on delivering outcomes, improving public sector performance and enhancing accountability and good governance. 

She said although the course was biased towards policy framework for monitoring and evaluation in South Africa, the basic concepts can be applied to any programme or project. 

Dr Motswagole said the participants had an opportunity to discuss M&E at programme and project level at their respective places of work and refer to appropriate institutional arrangements that could be put in place to better manage M&E at both strategic and operational levels. 

She said it was beneficial to both herself, National Food Technology Centre and Botswana at large because the trend nowadays is for organisations to be more effective in their operations and delivery of tangible results. 

Since NFTRC since operates on public funding, it is of utmost importance for it to institutionalise M&E, to enable it to assess its progress and also  gauge whether what it does is relevant and making impact to the needs of the food industry in Botswana.

Dr Motswagole therefore urged the NFTRC management to implement M&E to effectively convert the resources from government into valuable outcomes.

‘The course was useful and I chose a topic relevant to Botswana for my assignment,’ she said. 

She said she chose to design an M&E framework for the Vitamin A Supplementation Programme in Botswana, where issues of the implementation strategy, specific objectives, inputs, outputs, process and outcome indicators had to be clearly defined. 

The Weekly Bulletin would like to congratulate Dr Motswagole on this achievement and the value it would add, to not only NFTRC, but also the country at large, especially the recommendations for improving the Vitamin A Supplementary Programme, as it carries much promise for the country’s wellbeing.

2014-02-03 - Change of departmental name

The “Biochemistry” Department has changed to “Food Chemistry” Department. 

In an interview with the Weekly Bulletin about the change name, the Head of Food Chemistry Department, Dr Kenneth Johnstone said the department mainly works in the area of Food Chemistry (the study of chemicals in foods) rather than Biochemistry (the study of chemical processes in living organisms).

He said almost all members of the NFTRC Food Chemistry department have qualifications and experience in the area of Chemistry, rather than in Biochemistry.

He said the misnomer has impacted the department negatively when trying to recruit staff, as most people who apply would have background in Biochemistry, rather than the Chemistry qualifications that is required to do the work.

Dr Johnstone said the new name would better represent the work done in the department and thus help them overcome challenges with hiring staff in future.

2014-01-24 - Progress on Quality Management System

The Quality Management System (QMS) team has so far managed to compile and bind  processes, mandatory procedures and ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 17025:2005 manuals.

The QMS Management Representative, Dr Mary-Gorettie Binta said the documents would be   forwarded to the mentor for assessment and discussion with National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) staff over a three-day period in early February.

She said thereafter the mentor would conduct a refresher course for internal auditors and train the QMS team on problem solving using conventional tools.

She said it is very important for staff to write their work instructions, maintain momentum of the implementation of ISO 9001:2008 and ensure customers are always satisfied.

Dr Binta encouraged NFTRC staff to continue with their daily activities despite the  impending merger.


2014-01-24 - NFTRC suffers in the wake of storm

 On Monday morning, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) staff were shocked to arrive to a gapping hole in the face of their ‘new’ building.

Apparently the window collapsed, sending debris all over the reception area, during a reportedly severe storm in Kanye on Sunday night.

The Head of Human Resources and Administration (HRA), Mrs Tebogo Leu said efforts are underway to repair the damage and having everything back to normal by next week.

2014-01-24 - NFTRC staff ‘workshopped’

This week the Human Resources Unit workshopped NFTRC staff on the Code of Conduct, Disciplinary and Sexual Harassment Policies.

The workshops, which are one of the resolutions of the Jwaneng Management Retreat, are meant to bring all staff on board, with the hope to instil the desired behaviours of staff to minimise indiscipline.

The Head of Human Resources and Administration (HRA), Mrs Tebogo Leu said managers recommended that staff be workshopped on policies because they was a lot of perceived indiscipline with no action taken against perpetrators, which was affecting general staff performance.


2014-01-21 - Motsu meets and greets NFTRC staff

 The Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary (Corporate  Services)  in  the  Ministry  of Agriculture, Dr Phillimon Motsu on Monday, 13 January 2014 briefly visited National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) to meet and greet staff as well as familirise himself with the organisation’s functions.

In his welcoming remarks, the Acting Managing Director,  Dr  Martin  Kebakile  said that the     courtesy call was to enable Dr Motsu to appreciate what NFTRC is about and meet the people that make it tick.

In his short remarks, Dr Motsu said he came to NFTRC at a time when the organisation is in a          precarious situation because of the impending merger, but encouraged staff not to worry too much and instead continue with NFTRC business as planned.

He said the organisation has an ambitious programme to follow therefore management will need the support of all staff members to push it.

Dr Motsu also said that the ministry, management and staff should work cordially to meet the desired goals.

The visit ended with a tour of NFTRC facilities where research scientists explained their activities.


2014-01-21 - Cornell University Students visit NFTRC

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on Monday 13 January 2014 hosted three students from Cornell University, United States of America.

The purpose of the visit was for the agribusiness students cum entrepreneurs to appreciate what NFTRC does  and  what  value it can add to their enterprise.  

The  trio  was accompanied by staff member Ms Margaret Lynch and Ms Naomi Makgolo from FoodNet Holdings  Ltd,  a  Bokaa-based company that specialises in piggery, selling pork to wholesalers, retailers and individuals.

Through the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD), Cornell University  works  to  strengthen its capacity for making significant contributions to sustainable global development  by  supporting multidisciplinary research teams with a problem-solving focus, in  partnership with developing country institutions.

The Senior Research Scientist (Food Technology), Mr Selalelo Mpotokwane welcomed the team and gave them an overview of NFTRC as well as a presentation on the Opportunities within the Food Processing Sub-sector in Botswana.

The team was thrilled by what NFTRC does, saying that it could uplift the livelihoods of Batswana at large.


2014-01-21 - Team building exercise

It is now the norm for National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) to counsel and prepare staff members for the coming year on the last day of business every year end.

To this end, December 20, 2013 saw Ms Sally Pillar imparting skills to effect change in one’s life.

Ms Pillar encouraged staff to be open minded, determined and have the will to effect change in their lives for the better.

She said each person should see him or herself enhanced and elevated to a higher level either spiritually and/or emotionally for both personal and professional growth.

She encouraged individuals not to allow thoughts to be influential in their lives, adding that whatever the mind conceives whether positive or negative would eventually happen.

The Weekly Bulletin therefore encourages NFTRC staff to truly have peace of mind and claim all opportunities that come along, as we face another year of many achievements, challenges and lessons.


2013-11-29 - NFTRC equips inmates

 National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was on Wednesday among stakeholders that  attended  and presented at a workshop for inmates left with less than 12 months to complete their imprisonment.

The aim of the workshop was to  equip  the inmates with knowledge about different programmes that can benefit them once they get out of prison.

Most  of  the  presenters,  who  came  from the agricultural sector, encouraged the inmates to go into the sector upon release.

NFTRC urged the inmates to set up food processing and packaging businesses to make a living.

As the inmates were worried about how people would react to their businesses, they were         encouraged to trust themselves and persevere no matter what.

They were very happy about the presentations and promised to knock on every door for opportunities upon their release.


2013-11-29 - Fionah thanks NFTRC


Ms Fionah  Matsagopane  has praised NFTRC for the opportunity it gave her to hone her skills.

She says that she learnt a lot in the time that she was here as  the tasks she was assigned at Supplies were very engaging and thus challenged her to use her time wisely to meet deadlines.

Fionah admits that although it can be challenging to work with people of different backgrounds, it was very interesting for her to learn how to produce  satisfactory  results  under  unpredictable situations. 

She thanked  NFTRC for the  opportunity  and expressed gratitude to her supervisors for arming her with crucial skills that are going to help her in her new job.

Fionah  joined  NFTRC on the 22 of  October  2013 and  completed her attachment on the 22 of November 2013.


2013-11-29 - Selalelo presents at stakeholders workshop

 Mr Selalelo Mpotokwane, Senior Research Scientist (Food Technology), recently attended a Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) stakeholder workshop at the Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA).

The workshop sought to, among others, introduce the research project to various stakeholders and establish a needs assessment  for the users of the indigenous plants of interest: morama, mungongo, mogose and kgengwe  as  a  means to enrich the project.

Selalelo  presented  on “Processing  of Selected Botswana Indigenous Plants – Morama, Mogose, Mungongo, Kgengwe”.

He said the selected raw materials could be processed into products such as vegetable oil, roasted seeds/nuts, nut or seed butter, composite flours, canned vegetables  and  stews,  snacks and beverages.

He  explained  that such agricultural interventions would solidly buttress the agro-processing industry and alleviate prospective food processing entrepreneurs’ fears of failing in business due to shortage or lack of raw material. 

Giving the example of a Cape Town-based company called Seeds for Africa, Selalelo underscored the fact that neighbouring South Africa was quite advanced in the commercialisation and  marketing of plant species, among them indigenous ones, and that there was no reason, therefore, that Botswana should not be able to alleviate poverty and diversify its economy through such commerce.


2013-11-22 - NFTRC exhibits in Tsetseng

 In an endeavor to remain relevant and improve accessibility to its services, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) last Thursday took its services to the people of Tsetseng in the Ngwaketse West Constituency.

As it is the norm, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) took the opportunity to educate residents and market its products and services.

Residents of Tsetseng attended the event in satisfactory numbers and showed great interest in all the government initiatives availed to them.

Many that visited the NFTRC stall showed keen interest and promised to come to NFTRC for training to start their own small food processing businesses.

It was intriguing to learn that the people of Tsetseng know about Morama and how to extract oil from it.

In his welcoming remarks, Kgosi Gaothuse thanked the organisers for honouring the people of Tsetseng by giving them the opportunity to host such an important event.

Meanwhile, chairperson of the Kweneng West farmers’ association, Mr Batlhopi, gave the residents of Tsetseng a few ploughing and animal rearing tips.

He encouraged them to be persistence when requesting for help from the government and advised them to form a small society in Tsetseng, to advocate for their needs. .

He concluded by asking farmers to work together, especially on transportation to make it easy for them to access veterinary offices to collect any supplies they may need.

2013-11-22 - Letsema le bolotse!


Kgosi-kgolo ya Ga-Ngwaketse Kgosi Malope II on Friday set his tribe off to plough “go bolotsa letsema”.

Kgosi Malope II encouraged Bangwaketse to make all the necessary preparations so that when the rains come they would start ploughing.

Meanwhile, Debswana (Jwaneng Mine) donated P1 million to Bangwaketse to refurbish their kgotla.

Ms Naledi Dikgomo-Goulden said the donation was part of her company’s corporate social responsibility.


2013-11-22 - NFTRC welcomes new employees

NFTRC has added seven new faces to its stable.

The employees commenced work on Wednesday 13th November 2013and will be posted at Extension & Training,     Microbiology and Biochemistry departments.



2013-11-18 - UB students visit


National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) last Friday hosted final year Applied Botany students and lecturers from University of Botswana (UB).

The purpose of the visit was to expose the students to the applied aspects of Botany.

In his welcome remarks, Dr Bernard Bulawayo boasted of NFTRC, calling its laboratories Botswana’s best equipped.

Dr Bulawayo advised the students and lecturers to allow themselves to make new discoveries, before giving them an overview of NFTRC.

He informed them that the training that NFTRC provides equips potential entrepreneurs with crucial knowledge to help them start businesses, adding that the centre has successfully trained people that are now active in the Botswana food industry.

One of the students Silas, asked about the Skills Transfer Training fees, and was shocked to hear that NFTRC charges P1600.

The shockwave ran through to the other students as they believed that the fees are too high, but got comforted after learning that the fee includes meals, learning materials and a BOTA accredited certificate on completion of the one week course.

Another student Gaone enquired about internships and wanted to know what sort of study field NFTRC recruits and was informed that NFTRC recruits students from any field of study, more especially students in the analytical science fields because that is its core focus. 

The students applauded NFTRC for the wonderful job it is doing for the nation, adding that even though what it does is not relevant to their studies, they appreciated the reception and the exposure.


2013-11-18 - Juda attends FAO/IAEA workshop


The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently organised four-day workshop for African states

National Food Technology Research Centre Research Scientist Mr Juda Bogopa, represented Botswana at the workshop, which was hosted by the Botswana National Veterinary laboratory from 28 October 1 November 2013.

The purpose of the workshop was to enhance food-monitoring capabilities of member states to target food safety through a Total Diet Study approach for risk assessment and to deliberate on common challenges associated with analytical instrumentation in food safety and environmental health laboratories.

The workshop attracted international experts in the area of food contaminants with resource people from both regulatory and research institutions.

When opening the workshop, Mr James Sasanya (IAEA technical expert and Food Safety specialist) said such workshops come because of the IAEA’s concept of the peaceful uses initiative (PUI) on using atoms in helping countries develop, hence nuclear techniques in Food and Agriculture.

Mr Sasanya emphasised the need for regional collaboration, adding that the IAEA has since embarked on discouraging the unsustainable use of expensive equipment amongst members.

He also introduced the AFRA regional project, which is composed of 13 African member states whose aim is to promote food safety and further encouraged the nations to collaborate and share the use of expensive equipment in their institutions.

Mr Sasanya highlighted that IAEA likes sponsoring collaborated projects as working together makes it easier to get regional projects funded.

The other experts included Ms Rufina Acheampong and Dr David Mortimer of Food Standards Agency (FSA) UK, Dr Martin Rose of the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), UK and Professor Mathew Muzi Nindi of the University of South Africa.

The workshop was co-sponsored by Agilent Technologies with its arms of chromatography represented by Chemitrix and spectroscopy represented by SMM instruments who also presented their technologies and after sale services available to enhance regional research.

Mr Bogopa said this will benefit NFTRC’s efforts in building capacity on residue analysis (Mycotoxin and pesticides analysis) as it formed good ground for regional collaboration and networking.


2013-11-18 - Sarah attends BPC Lesedi Seminar


On Thursday the 7th of November 2013, Dr Sarah Matenge attended a stakeholder business seminar on “Promotion of local entrepreneurship in Sekhutlane” hosted jointly by BPC Lesedi and the Swedish NGO SusBiz. 

Representatives from the Southern District Council, BPC Lesedi Acting General Manager Mr Tanguy Boussard, Mr Kenalekgotla Sebolao, a business consultant of Mma-Onkwe Agric (Pty) Ltd, SuzBiz representative from Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden, Dr Patrick Klintenberg and community representatives from Sekhutlane attended the seminar.

When giving a key note address, Mr Boussard said that the overall objectives of developing a Sustainable Village Concept (SVC) were to: Provide electricity to rural un-electrified communities through off-grid renewable energy systems; contribute to improved livelihoods of rural population by facilitating business development (SMEs) by local entrepreneurs and ensuring sustainable operations and maintenance of the energy system in each village funded by payments received for electricity used.

Mr Boussard revealed that BPC Lesedi was established to achieve economic prosperity, especially with the demands in rural areas, adding that Sekhutlane village will be electrified in the first quarter of 2014.

Expounding on the business concept, Mr Kenalekgotla Sebolao said specific business ideas were identified with the help of community representatives and 16 business plans developed covering areas of food processing, poultry, cattle breeding and brick making.

The objective of the BPC Lesedi stakeholder seminar in Pitsane was to brief stakeholers on the SVC project; give progress made on the electrification of Sekhutlane village and to match-make stakeholders and aspiring entrepreneurs to provide valuable knowledge and skills transfer, which they can use to kick-start their own projects at various scales.

BPC Lesedi (Pty) Ltd is a joint venture between Electricité de France (EDF) and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).


2013-11-11 - NFTRC attends Market Day

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) on Friday exhibited some of its products at a Market Day in Kanye.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr Enock Dikobe of LEA said that the day was very special because it gives Small and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) the needed exposure and a chance to network.

He said LEA had received many complaints from SMMEs about very low uptake of their goods and services, hence the theme of the day “Unleashing untapped opportunities for SMMEs.”

A Marketing Specialist from LEA, Mr Moffat said the objective of the day was to give exhibitors a chance to show consumers what products and services they offer to help increase sales.

He encouraged exhibiters to be patient and use the day to know their competitors, establish their future suppliers and increase their customer base.

He said such platforms allow exhibitors to share experiences, find ways to improve their selling strategies as well as to get instant feedback on how they can improve their products and services.


Mr Moffat advised participants to sell quality products, at reasonable prices and ensure that supply meets demand every time to stay relevant to the needs of customers.

Ms J. Coagae, a bakery owner, said one needs patience, passion and persistence to run a business in Botswana.

 She pleaded with her fellow entrepreneurs to work together, support each other and never shy off when selling their products.

She encouraged exhibitors to stay focused and keep motivated even when people mock and belittle their efforts to make something of their lives.

Ms Coagae also advised business owners to be hands on in their businesses, and ‘becomes slaves’ to ensure they have a steady income.

When closing the event, Mr S. Majelantle from LEA thanked all stakeholders and exhibitors for attending, emphasising that business owners should use such opportunities to share knowledge, challenges and marketing strategies to create lasting impressions.

Although very few consumers attended, NFTRC stall received some aspiring entrepreneurs that were eager to know about training and the different products and services on offer.

Phane soup, Morama milk and oil, donkey segwapa and dried ting intrigued people that visited the stall.

They requested NFTRC to make samples to give consumers and aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to know what the products taste like.









2013-11-01 - NFTRC equips potential entrepreneurs


The whole of last week National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was engaged in equipping potential entrepreneurs with skills on fruit and vegetable processing.

The training was said to be a success as it hosted 21 participants from all around Botswana.

Most of participants were women sponsored by the Department of Gender Affairs, while the rest were self-sponsored individuals.

Dr Lemogang Kwape, who gave out certificates at the graduation ceremony, urged participants to use the skills acquired to better their lives.

One of the participants, Ms Moipone Tiroyaone thanked the President of Botswana for his generous efforts in eradicating poverty.

Ms Tiroyaone also thanked the Gender Affairs department for the sponsorship and NFTRC trainers for their patience during the training.

She said that even though there was a lot of information to absorb, which resulted in her falling asleep at some point, the trainers never surrendered.

The participants assured NFTRC that they will utilise the valuable skills they acquired to better their lives when they get back home.


2013-11-01 - Fionah joins NFTRC


Ms Fionah Matsagopane joined National Food     Technology Research Centre on industrial attachment attached at Supplies Department until     December 2013.

Fionah is a Graduate Intern from Boitekanelo  Training institution where she pursued Health Care Management which comprised administration courses.

She said the administration courses allow her to work in any institution more especially health related ones, adding that prior to coming to NFTRC she was attached at Sekgoma Memorial Hospital in  Serowe.

Fionah said she joined NFTRC because she wanted to change location and learn what other institutions are all about.

She said she believes the exposure and experience from NFTRC will benefit her in her future           endeavours.


2013-10-25 - Tonota Farmers Lead the Way

This year ‘s World Food Day was an eye opener for many in Tonota village and its environs who only knew about the Molapo farmers but had never beheld the beauty that is the work they do.

Many Batswana are rainfed farmers who only depend on the Almighty to make it rain for them to then till the land and get food, but the Moji family and Ms Mikkie Matenge have ventured into irrigation farming, taking advantage of the abundant waters of the Shashe River.

These adventurous people have ‘taken the bull by the horns’ and did not wait for government to help them as is the case with many in this country and lo and behold their hard work is beginning to bear fruit as their farms have now been put on the map after hosting this year’s event.

Incidentally, the trio is not the only serious ones in the area, as there are a number of women, a lot of them young, who have taken on this generally challenging venture called farming.

This is a challenge to other young people in other parts of the country, where there are rivers and other water sources, to venture into irrigation farming.

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) participated at the event, held under the theme: “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition” to encourage Batswana to take up its technologies to start food processing/manufacturing businesses.

The many, who visited the stall, were fascinated by what ‘their normal Setswana foods’ can be turned into with a little bit of Science and Technology.

This is also, where the NFTRC met some fascinating characters that see farming and processing as possible ‘cash cows’, which need to be milked.

One Thabo, who is in the export industry was so taken with NFTRC prototypes that she promised to visit and possibly take up the technologies for export as a lot of people on the African continent love to ‘buy Botswana’ products.

World Food Day is commemorated under the auspices of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO); this year it was celebrated on 16 October 2013

The day is also about calling for changes to agriculture and food supply systems. This year’s theme was chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger.  


2013-10-25 - NFTRC hosts IAEA Fellow

 National Food technology Research Centre is hosting Mr Dillon     Mukelabai Mubalu, a Zambian Fellow of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on training in Body composition, Deuterium  dilution and FTIR techniques.

Mr Mubalu, who works for the Zambian Government is with NFTRC for one month from 22 October to 21 November 201He is also a member of the upcoming project of breastfeeding in his country said the capacity building training at NFTRC would enable him to fit in with the rest of the team members. 

He said the training would not only benefit him, but the nation of Zambia at large because after training he would prepare a report which will be accessible to everybody.

Mr Mubalu said he hopes his stay in Botswana will assist him to grasp a few Setswana sayings, adding that he is looking forward to work well the NFTRC staff.


2013-10-25 - MP Modubule meets constituents

This week National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) continued its efforts of reaching out to   Batswana by presenting at kgotla meetings addressed by the Member of Parliament for Lobatse Mr Nehemiah Modubule.

Ms Kemelo Ookeditse encouraged the residents to take up NFTRC technologies to improve their livelihoods, as well as assist in eradicating poverty in the country.

She also encouraged residents who are involved in the food industry to always test their products before taking them into the market.

Residents  expressed the desire and eagerness to come to NFTRC for training.


2013-09-20 - NFTRC at Mahotshwane


In its quest to avail its services to people in all parts of the country, especially the hard to reach areas, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) last week Thursday visited Mahotshwane in the Ngwaketse West constituency.

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) went along to display some of its products, especially Morama, at the event held under the theme: “Taking MoA to the people”.

Kgosi Mohurutshe Maipolelo welcomed the ministry to his village and said he was humbled by the large number of residents who were eager to receive the services brought to them and thanked the ministry for the gesture.

Kgosi Maipolelo encouraged residents to take advantage of all available opportunities to improve their livelihoods.

Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary (Support Services) in the ministry, Mr Boweditswe Masilo said the event was an opportunity for the residents to appreciate and learn more about the ministry to better utilise its services.

Mr Masilo encouraged them to vaccinate their small stock regularly, warning however that prices for livestock medication have gone up and advised farmers to group themselves to contribute towards purchasing such.

He encouraged them to rear small stock for business instead of as relish for weddings and funerals.

Residents, more especially the youths were enthralled by Morama (dichama in their native language) and they promise to visit NFTRC for training.


2013-09-06 - Students sensitised on GMOs


On Tuesday, National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) hosted students and teachers from Ramotswa Junior Secondary School on an educational tour.

The objective of the tour was for students and teachers to be sensitised on genetically modified organisms, (GMOs), which is part of their syllabus in Moral Education.

The students and teachers were welcomed by Ms Kemelo Ookeditse, before Mr Gaone Mokhawa, explained genetically modified organism (GMO).

Mr Mokhawa said GMOs are not easily identifiable through the naked eye, adding that they can be used for several purposes including biofuel production, clotting factors to treat haemophilia, and human growth hormones to treat various forms of dwarfism.

In addition, he said various genetically engineered microorganisms are used as sources of enzymes to manufacture a variety of processed foods.

Mr Mokhawa said the potential dangers of GMOs are genetic pollution, which might lead to extinction of naturally occurring organism and allergies or toxic materials.

He said the moral issues arising from the use of GMOs includes their unknown long term impact on the food chain; critics objecting to GM crops on several grounds, ecological concerns and economic concerns raised by the fact that these organisms are subject to intellectual property law.

He said countries are involved in controversies with respect to whether food produced from GM crops is safe and whether they are needed to address the world's food needs.

He said research on the qualitative and quantification of GMOs in processed foods in Botswana has showed that GMOs are present and mostly coming from other countries since Botswana does not grow GMOs and that a policy on the regulation and use of GMOs has been drafted.

At the end students and staff had the opportunity of raising questions relating the presentation while, one of the students, Ms Gorata Mbozwa thanked NFTRC for awarding them the opportunity to receive such an informative lesson.

She said the information they got would be applied accordingly not only in their moral education studies but also in the science subjects.


2013-09-06 - National Agricultural Show

This year’s national agricultural show seemed different as visitors to the National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) stall were more interactive, which kept staff members in high spirits as they gave out the needed information.

About 104 visitors showed interest to come to the organisation for training, consultancy or partnership.

NFTRC was also honoured to receive some high-ranking members of society in the likes of Kgosi Mosadi Seboko and the former president Sir Ketumile Masire, whom it is hoped would spread the good news about the organisation.

Ms Thatayaone Kepaletswe thanked staff members who manned the stall for their cooperation, team spirit and hard work.

She said she was humbled by the passion, professionalism and seamlessness with which the customers were served as well as the camaraderie displayed while executing the job.

She expressed the hope that the spirit would continue as they serve NFTRC in other spheres.

2013-08-30 - National Agricultural Show

The National Agricultural Show, whose theme is “Transforming Agriculture in the wake of Climate Change”, started on 26 August, and shall end on 31 August 2013.

The shows are a tradition in Botswana that brings together the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers and stakeholders to enjoy the benefit of farming, to show the country’s potential, to consolidate and showcase past achievements and to promote the good policies available to attract local and foreign investors.

The guest of honour, Debswana Managing Director, Mr Jim Gowans said this show was yet another milestone showcasing achievements of the agricultural sector, in order to cultivate interest among potential farmers for them to see that agriculture is a possible business venture.

Mr Gowans said if most people could start engaging in farming, given the population of the country, Botswana would become self-sufficient in food production.

He said the event is very important because with the right effort and resources, agriculture can make a major contribution to the diversification of the economy and contribute to our nation’s food self-sufficiency.

He said Debswana Diamond Company is proud to have been a major driver of the economic development of this nation over years now, and has contributed to the building of schools, hospitals, roads, just to mention a few – in short, diamond revenues have turned the nation’s dream for development into a lasting reality.

Mr Gowans said Debswana’s commitment and support to the agricultural sector is demonstrated by the annual sponsorship of the event to the tune of P600 000.00 for the past five years, which has increased to P700 000.00 this year.

He said with regard to the current theme, which was used last year and would be used next year as well, Botswana like many other countries in the world, has not been spared the adverse effects of climate change.  The effects include amongst others, extreme weather conditions and recurrent droughts, which have led to high losses in agricultural production.

He said adapting the same theme is therefore meant to emphasise the impact that climate has on agriculture, and the need for Botswana as a country to respond to this challenge.

Mr Gowans said apart from climate change other challenges that agriculture is faced with include the insufficiency of basic infrastructure such as roads, market facilities, power, water and telecommunications, adding that animal and plants diseases as well as pests have been major challenges posing direct threat to human life, public health and to agriculture.

He however highlighted that agriculture depends mainly on rainfall, and in spite of the fact that Botswana’s rains are erratic and unreliable already, rainfall has been a limiting factor to the sector’s capacity.

That being said, he was pleased to note that the Ministry of Agriculture has sought and obtained a grant from the African Development Bank to fund a study to establish the feasibility of using effluent water for irrigation in various localities in the country, and if found feasible the project is expected to go a long way in alleviating the water shortage problem in agriculture.

In his remarks the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Christiaan De Graaf said that the theme is relevant because farmers cannot remain stuck in primitive ways of doing things, as climate change calls for transformation.

The Minister said while the Ministry encouraged farmers particularly during this time to be involved in food production at household level, there is a dire need to grow and move from subsistence to commercial production in order to increase the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) had an opportunity to scout for partners in its quest to assist Botswana to become self-reliant in food production, as well as the national poverty eradication and economic diversification drives.

After receiving a loaded message about NFTRC’s products and services, people who visited the organisation’s stall had the opportunity to taste various products made from different donkey meat cuts.

2013-08-30 - Nutrition Department disseminate results


On Friday 23 August, the Nutrition and Dietetics Department held a seminar to disseminate the results of the project entitled ‘The Efficacy of Micronutrient-fortified Sorghum Meal in Improving the Immune Status of HIV-positive Adults in Kanye’ to the Kanye District Health Team and clinic staff. 

The objective of the seminar was to share the results with stakeholders in the district as they were partners in the implementation of this project. 

In his welcome remarks the Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile highlighted the need for researchers to share findings with relevant stakeholders and partners.  He also invited the health workers who were present to make suggestions on the type of research that NFTRC could focus on in future.

When presenting the results, the Principal Research Scientist, Dr Boitumelo Stokie Motswagole said the understanding of the role of micronutrients in HIV infection is increasing rapidly, however most of the research has been conducted in developed countries. 

Dr Motswagole said the study was an attempt to generate context-specific data that relates to the function of vitamin A in immunity.  Vitamin A through its active metabolite altrans retinoic acid (atRA) has been known to be a potent stimulator of T-helper cell development; this is achieved through increased clonal expansion and yield of interleukin-4 (IL4), a protein that stimulates the immune system to develop mast cells, resting T-cells, and activated B-cells. 

She said it was therefore hypothesized that if the vitamin A status is increased the immune function of HIV+ individuals will also improve.  This will lead to delayed disease progression and therefore improvement in the quality of life.

Dr Motswagole said the findings after 12 months intervention indicated clearly that the sorghum meal fortified with micronutrients including vitamin A was not efficacious in improving the immune status of HIV+ adults. 

She said this observed lack of benefit can however be due to several reasons such as the heterogeneity of participants in terms of HIV disease stage, length of time on antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, the intake of supplements and others. 

During the discussion the audience raised issues that could be looked at in future studies of this nature, adding that the study was valuable and should be revisited with different parameters. 

In closing Dr Motswagole thanked all those who took part in the seminar, particularly the health workers who assisted in the implementation of the project protocol.  She assured them that they will always be partners in studies of this nature and should feel free to make an input in order to guide research activities.

2013-08-29 - National Agricultural Show 2013

The National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) will participate at the National Agricultural Show scheduled for August 26-31.

The show will be held under the theme “transforming agriculture in the wake of climate change”.

NFTRC will use the show to intensify its efforts to encourage Batswana to take up its products and services to assist Botswana’s self-reliance in food production, poverty eradication and economic diversification drives.

The central message is that processing, preservation, diversification and value-addition of all locally available food produce is the way to go for the benefit of the country and its inhabitants.

It is worth noting that many Batswana still shun food manufacturing though it can ensure income generation, poverty eradication and employment creation.

The theme is apt as Botswana is currently experiencing unreliable and erratic rains, pests and heat.

NFTRC believes a robust food processing industry would encourage producers to produce more because they would be assured of a market.

Visitors would also have the opportunity to taste different donkey cuts.


2013-08-29 - Progress on the upgrade of sewage system


It has been months since the National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) announced the upgrading of its sewage system, which is spilling causing a health hazard not only to staff members but also to animals that drink the unclean water.

The Weekly Bulletin caught up with the Acting Managing Director, Dr Martin Kebakile to know what has transpired since the upgrading was expected to start sometime in April.

Dr Kebakile said it was difficult to award the tender because some companies tendered for design, others for construction while others tendered for both and they were all way too expensive.

He said the issue was taken back to the then Board of Directors who gave the Tendering Committee time to re-tender and also o engage the Engineering Department at the University of Botswana (UB) to assist with the designs to meet NFTRC requirements.

Dr Kebakile said UB engineers visited NFTRC on 16 August 2013 to re-assess the situation and the site after which it was agreed that the designs be ready for implementation within two weeks.

He said once the design is done the re-tendering process would start, with the cost element under close check.


2013-08-16 - Botswana Testing Laboratory System launched

National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was among stakeholders who graced the launch of Botswana Testing Laboratory System (BTLS) on 13 August 2013 in Gaborone.

BTLS was established in 2009 as an association of testing laboratories to promote quality laboratory services and enhance laboratory capacity within the country.

NFTRC attended in its capacity as a member of BTLS Executive Committee represented by Mr Juda Bogopa.

When officially launching BTLS, its patron and Chief Executive Officer of De Beers Botswana Mr Neo Moroka, said he agreed to be patron  because he saw the importance of the association as a player in the economic development of Botswana.

Mr Moroka said “Quality Testing Systems are not a luxury but an economic imperative”, adding that the establishment of BTLS will ensure that Botswana develops goods and services that conform to international standards.

He said BTLS will help to attract investors because they will have the assurance of the availability of quality testing laboratories.

Mr Moroka urged BTLS to strive to give life to President Lt General Ian Khama’s vision of Botswana moving from an upper middle class economy to a fully developed economy.

He encouraged members, as experts in their scope of testing, to place Botswana at the same levels of quality assurance with its own testing facilities.

He called for the support of both the government and the private sector an