Graziano da Silva meets with Botswana’s Minister of Agriculture
28 March 2014 Tunis, Tunisia – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva met today with Botswana’s Minister of Agriculture Christian De Graaf, on the sidelines of FAO’s 28th Regional Conference for Africa in Tunis.
Minister De Graaf thanked FAO for its support to the country through a Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) and reiterated his appreciation for having Grazino da Silva heading the Organization.
He reaffirmed his support to FAO and the Director-General. At the meeting, the Minister asked Graziano to continue with the reforms he started and sustain the efforts already made.
Both discussed the subsidies programme in the agriculture sector that Botswana is currently putting in place which include, providing free improved seeds and fertilizers with the support of private sector stake-holders support small-holder farmers.
Graziano da Silva highlighted Botswana’s success in being one of the only African countries that can export livestock to the European Union.
Also discussed was the availability of free vaccinations in Botswana. The country produces its own vaccines that FAO purchases in order to support other neighboring countries.
Botswana’s Minister raised the issue of Climate Change as a great challenge with which they expect support from FAO. He also noted the importance of adequately tackling trans-boundary diseases, including fruit flies.
FAO Director-General praised Botswana for taking the challenge of eradicating hunger seriously and putting it directly under the supervision of the President, who places special emphasis on youth inclusion.