Africa-Press – Botswana. As part of their commitment to assisting remote communities, the non-profit wildlife conservation organization, Save Wildlife Conservation, has initiated a horticultural project for a group of women in Quqao village.
Launched last year, the project aims to eradicate hunger and achieve food security in the Ngamiland region.
It has already been handed over to 24 members of the Wakadzi Horticultural Agricultural Management Association, a fully registered entity, with the encouragement to capitalize on the government’s ban on imported horticultural products to maximize profits.
During the project handover, Save Wildlife Conservation Botswana Director Wabothe Letubo attributed its success to collaboration between the village leadership, government departments, and the Quqao women.
“We’ve fenced a hectare of land for them, built an office, storeroom, and ablutions, and installed an oil pump borehole as a start. They’ve begun planting and have already had a harvest,” Letubo stated.
Wakadzi Chair, Bolatotswe Otae highlighted Save Wildlife’s collaboration with relevant government institutions, which provided training in horticulture, bookkeeping, and marketing, enabling the successful operation of their enterprise.
“We commenced planting in December last year, focusing on watermelons, maize, millet, and lentils. By March this year, we expanded to beetroots, spinach, onions, and tomatoes. Despite some small profits due to our initial small-scale planting, we faced challenges with small animals like baboons breaching our electric fence and consuming some produce,” Otae explained.
Expressing gratitude to stakeholders involved, Otae emphasized how this project has empowered the women of Quqao. “We’ve established a market for ourselves. Local tourism companies and communities purchase from us, motivating us to persist in our efforts,” Otae stated.
Spar Supermarket has identified itself as a potential client for the Wakadzi Horticultural Agricultural Management Association.
During the project handover, Spar representative Kagiso Thutwa emphasized their commitment to community empowerment, encouraging the association to take their initiative seriously. “With a shortage of vegetables in stores due to the government’s import ban, there’s a clear demand for fresh produce. We’re eager to buy from them,” Thutwa added.
Save Wildlife Conservation plans to further empower women in Nxaraga and Matsaudi villages by initiating curio shop projects, providing a platform for marketing their art crafts.These projects were selected due to the high unemployment rate among single mothers, exceeding 50% in these communities.