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Phikwe ESP projects successful.

Selebi Phikwe has been commended for delivering successful Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) projects.

Speaking at the ESP briefing recently, programme coordinator, Ms Goitsemang Morekisi commended Selebi Phikwe for completing all ESP projects allocated to the town on time, on budget and on scope.

Selebi Phikwe received five ESP projects in 2016/17 and five more in the 2017/18 financial year most of which were mainly classroom blocks and ablutions in primary schools and teachers houses.

'Selebi Phikwe did very well in backlog eradication,' she said.

She said government aimed to deliver ESP projects on time and on budget and Selebi Phikwe proved to be a good example.

Ms Morekisi further informed the meeting that government did well in delivering ESP projects across the country.

She said as at February, 59 per cent of ESP funds were utilised, adding 'we have seen a fair success of the projects.'

She indicated that the first three years of ESP were construction where government focused mainly on employment creation even though it was temporary.

Ms Morekisi said government now intended to find long-term projects to stimulate the economy citing projects such as NAPRO.

She said the National AGRO Processing (NAPRO) project was good because it could have many spin-offs to stimulate the local economy.

NAPRO was established as a developmental project for expanding markets and stimulating growth of the horticultural sector, but operated as a sustainable commercial business.

It was established with the aim to mitigate on spoilage of excess produce by providing a receptacle for lower quality grade produce and cause a pull effect for farmers to produce more while benefiting as a community from the ready market catalyst.

Ms Goitsemang said she discussed issues of marketing of NAPRO products with the NAPRO team and also trying to encourage government institutions to take up products.

NAPRO products include pickled line products such as mixed vegetable pickle, pickled beetroot and tomato line products such as tomato sauce and tomato puree.

For his part, NAPRO production officer, Mr Odaka Modongo said that the take up for NAPRO products was slow because of lack of buy-in from government institutions due to unfavourable menu.

He also decried shortage of root vegetables such as carrots in the SPEDU region which forced the company to buy from Gaborone. NAPRO currently supplies Choppies, Shoppers, Sefalana and SPAR supermarkets.

He further complained about strict trading terms with major retail stores especially foreign ones some of which determine the price for the NAPRO products.

Consultations, he said were conducted with various government institutions and samples provided to try NAPRO products. He also noted that more staff was recruited to assist in merchandising.

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Publication:Botswana Daily News (Gaborone, Botswana)
Date:May 19, 2019
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