The agriculture sector will contribute 6 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the next five years, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Marcus Chimbombi has confidently said. Chimbombi told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that he has a plan of growing his ministry’s contribution to the GDP from the current 2.6 percent to 6 percent in the next five years.
The PS said his growth plan will be centralised on every sector that could easily be commercialised. His plan is to grow the beef, cereal, honey, sheep and goat production into large commercial scale. However Chimbombi’s vision is not supported by any study but was made based on the statistics that indicated which sectors have potential to be commercialised. “With cereal we will be able to produce 200 metric tons, which will go into assisting other sectors.”
Chimbombi was responding to Selibe Phikwe West MP, Dithapelo Keorapetse who wanted to know the ministry’s target towards contributing to the GDP. With regards to the plans Keorapetse was skeptical that the presentation was just a plan without any detailed projections. “We expect detailed plans and objective strategies not statements that are not authentic,” he said.
Meanwhile on Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Chimbombi said they have dealt with it by pushing it to the North. He pointed that at one point they worked with Zimbabwe by providing them with vaccine. However Tati East MP Samson Guma Moyo was not pleased with the PS response regarding the spread of FMD. He said Chimbombi is underestimating the challenge of FMD and how it has affected the people's lives especially for the people in the northern area. “There should be a study to look at how people in the North are affected and find solutions.”