Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB), says it has enough stock which would last for the next nine months.
Responding to The Voice enquiries, the Board’s Chief Executive Officer, Leonard Morakaladi noted that despite an increase in demand which was escalated by the distribution of food parcels during the national lockdown, BAMB continues to be as proactive and prepared as it was before the lockdown.
“We still have enough grains to last up to nine months. As reported before lockdown, BAMB has in place 30, 000 tons of sorghum which is nine months cover,” said, Morakaladi.
Furthermore, BAMB has in stock 5000 tons of yellow maize which is one month cover and 2500 tons of beans which translates to two months cover.
“We have not had a need to draw down from the reserves as BAMB has been selling commercial stock to millers,” he noted.
As the month of April marked the beginning of harvest season, Morakaladi said this means BAMB has been able to replenish its commercial stock.
“With the current harvest season which began in April, BAMB will have enough grains to cover a further 12 months,” Morakaladi pointed out.
This season BAMB has contracted farmers to produce 91 965.5 metric tons (mt) of a variety of crops, of which 53 283 mt is sorghum and 19 784 mt of maize, while the rest is pulses and oilseeds
“We have not received any reports from farmers indicating possibilities of low or no yields because of drought. Our recent visits to some of our contracted farmers in Mosisedi have given us confidence that we will receive substantial quantities of maize this year,” revealed Morakaladi.
BAMB expects to receive over 90 percent of the contracted sorghum by the end of the harvest season.