Botswana Food Science Technology Association has called for a regulatory body to monitor foods sold in the market since some of them are not fit for human consumption.
The association’s President Dr Minah Mosele said: “We need to regulate chemical fertilisers and pesticides in our food products. Right now, we have found products in our supermarkets that have high levels of pesticide residues and prohibited chemicals fertilisers,” Dr Mosele told delegates at the Global Expo in Gaborone recently.
Under normal circumstances, any condemned food should be destroyed. “Those products are supposed to be destroyed but the problem that we have in our country is we don’t have policing bodies to make sure that those products do not actually enter the market.”
Dr. Mosele who is also Head of Food Technology Department at National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC), stated that there is need to revamp the local agriculture system as most of the food is imported.
“We need to support our agriculture system so that we can feed ourselves because right now Botswana is actually importing 80 percent of the food commodities,” she said adding that there is need to come up with supply chains that are more oriented and responsive.
She challenged relevant stakeholders to put the entire necessary infrastructure and ensure that it is doing well. Dr. Mosele said that Botswana’s vast tracts of land can be turned into a green belt and feed the nation if utilised.“The great minds are there in Botswana and the science and technology and innovation is there and what we need now is to implement our policies,” said Dr. Mosele.
The country still imports virtually everything to satisfy the local market resulting in the import bill standing at a whooping P73 billion for last year.The government is currently encouraging local consumers to local products and reduce the import bill.