BOTSWANA President Mokgwetsi Masisi has hailed his Zimbabwean counterpart, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s resolve to curb stocktheft and spread of animal diseases like foot and mouth along the two countries’ border area.
Speaking at the official opening of the Harare Agricultural Show where he was guest speaker yesterday, Masisi said cattle rustling along the Zimbabwe-Botswana border had reached unprecedented levels, hence the need for intervention at the highest level.
“Allow me to salute you on your personal involvement and heightened interest in the issue of livestock rustling along our own border which has threatened the source of harmony between communities that reside in that area,” he said.
“As discussed recently during our previous engagements, the issue presents not only a huge risk of transmission of animal diseases, but it is also a serious threat to food and social security. I’m grateful that our two nations are collaborating to combat such undesirable acts across our borders.”
Masisi also said Botswana was drawing a lot of lessons from Zimbabwe’s move to rebuild and anchor its economic growth on agricultural productivity.
“The contributions of the agricultural sectors of our two countries to the GDP [gross domestic product] have risen significantly. For instance, in Botswana, the agricultural sector accounts for 1,6% of GDP while in Zimbabwe, the sector’s contribution ranges between 15% and 19% of GDP. As such, I found it imperative to avail myself to be part of this event to facilitate exchanging views and experience in the agricultural space for the mutual benefits of our two countries and people,” he said, adding that the two countries should leverage on each other’s comparative and competitive advantage in the agricultural space to boost food security.
“Another reason which is important to me and my entourage to be here today is the fact that the agricultural sectors of our countries are intertwined, with communities along our borders not only sharing familial ties, but ways and means such as livestock rearing, among others,” he said.
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