The Fresh Produce Shortage Continues To Haunt Botswana
Of late we have been experiencing a serious shortage of a variety of vegetables in our country. Although we have our own produce, we still rely too much on imports from our neighboring country South Africa, thus the discovery of the highly destructive tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) within our borders has influenced the ban of importing such vegetables.
Among such vegetables are tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, melon pears and beetroots, with tomatoes and potatoes being hit the most. Retail chain stores like Spar, are no longer allowed to import a variety of fresh produce for its outlets there. To rub salt in the wound, even the import of potato tubers has also been stopped and local farmers can’t plant for the next crop.
As small as they seem, vegetables play a very important role in any dish, henceforth this ban can be regarded as a crisis. It’s high time we up our farming game, so that we can be self reliant and avoid these kind of inconveniences. We hope this tomato leaf miner situation will be sort out ad the ban will be lifted in no time.