Milk Afric Ground Breaking Ceremony
Lobatse – Botswana Development Corporation (BDC)’s commitment to the development of the Agriculture sector continues to show significant growth despite challenges faced by the industry. To this day its investment is evident in diversified areas such as dairy, horticulture, poultry and poultry processing to ensure food sufficiency and security for the country. In April 2016, BDC formed a partnership with Milk Afric, a dairy farm originally from the United States who wanted to relocate to Botswana. BDC has invested 40 million onto the project and is entitled to only 26 % of the equity. As all other equity investments done by the Corporation, the preference is to maintain minority shares. BDC investment is towards development of the dairy farm whilst Milk Afric makes a contribution of a herd of 2,000 dairy cows.
A few days before Lobatse celebrates 120 years of existence, Milk Afric officially launched its operations with a ground breaking ceremony marking the first development at the farm. During the ceremony, BDC managing Director, Mr Bashi Gaetsaloe expressed his confidence and appreciation on the partnership; “I would like to appreciate our new partners, Milk Afric, whom I believe through their expertise and experience will drive a sustainable and successful dairy venture that will deliver value for this economy” he said. He made this remark when speaking to the mandate of the Corporation being, developing the commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors in Botswana through funding or partnering with commercially viable enterprises that perform one or more of the following functions: pioneer new industries, unlock value in existing industries, stimulate private sector growth, foster linkages with the local and foreign investors as well as drive economic diversification and exports trade. This partnership will contribute significantly drive a sustainable and successful dairy venture that will deliver value for this economy.
Milk Afric will not only be producing milk, as part of their operation, they will also undertake significant fodder production in order to ensure availability of feed for the cattle. They are also considering venturing into the entire value chain. It is estimated that each head will produce around 20 litres per day which is enough to benefit the dairy value chain production including processing of raw milk into dairy products and distribution of dairy products outside Botswana Boarders.
In his conclusion, Mr Gaetsaloe mentioned that “BDC is fully intent on supporting any ventures which are sustainable and that contribute to the country’s developmental objectives. It is in that vein, that we have every intention of ensuring a sustainable and productive dairy industry.”