Wilderness Botswana, in partnership with Seed Co Botswana, delivered two tonnes of quality white maize seed to Okavango Delta communities in December 2022. The company’s objective is to facilitate increased crop production in Botswana, complementing Government’s efforts to ensure food security in the country.
Wilderness Botswana donated the seed to farmers in the Okavango Community Trust (OCT) villages of Seronga, Gunotsoga, Eretsha, Beetsha and Gudigwa, as well as Sankoyo village. Wilderness Stakeholder Manager Moalosi Lebekwe, Seed Co Botswana’s Hoffman Rammala, and specially elected councillor, Molatlhegi Bayeyi attended the donation handovers in the respective kgotlas. Two varieties of white maize seed were donated, which when farmed correctly, should yield excellent crops.
During last year’s ploughing season, Wilderness Botswana donated 2.5 tonnes of maize, cowpeas and millet seeds worth BWP25,000 to the farmers in these areas. In addition, the company continues to de-stump fields to increase ploughing land, with approximately 58 fields de-stumped so far. Each year, Wilderness assists the community with tractors and agricultural implements, gradually introducing farmers to modern machinery, which will result in increased crop yield.
“I am thankful to Wilderness and Seed Co for their entrenched dedication to improving farming within the OCT villages. Wilderness goes beyond just being a lessee, and takes an interest in improving the livelihoods of the communities adjacent to their concessions”, noted Councillor Bayeyi.
Wilderness Botswana purchases the excess crops after harvesting, for use in its camps, further affirming its community support. The company has also pledged to drill six boreholes in the OCT. The boreholes will be located near to ploughing fields to reduce the risk of being attacked by wildlife, especially elephants, when the farmers fetch water from the villages.
Moalosi added, “Our partnership with Seed Co Botswana is a testament to our unending desire to assist farmers in the area – with the ultimate goal of improving their independence and continued economic diversification”.
Farmers and community leaders graciously accepted the seed donations as an encouragement to counter the deteriorating interest in farming, especially amid issues of human-wildlife conflict.
“This initiative perfectly targets two of our Impact strategy’s identified outcomes, which are to improve food security for our partner communities, and to ensure that both humans and wildlife are better protected in conflict hotspots. High quality seed not only ensures better crop yields, but also allows farmers to use smaller plots of land, leaving more space for wildlife movement corridors“, concluded Vince Shacks, Wilderness Group Impact Manager.