Lesedi Modo-Mmopelwa, assistant FAO representative, speaks during a training workshop for horticulture farmers in Gaborone, Botswana. Sept. 20, 2023. (Photo by Tshekiso Tebalo/Xinhua)
GABORONE, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The UN food agency and the government of Botswana held a training workshop for horticulture farmers Wednesday, aimed at improving agricultural practices in the southern African country.
The workshop, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in collaboration with Botswana's Ministry of Agriculture, was attended by about 60 farmers. During the workshop, participants learned about wastewater utilization, food safety practices, and other essential agricultural techniques.
This initiative seeks to enhance compliance with established standards while also providing a significant opportunity for the ongoing improvement of various procedures involved in the production and processing of agricultural products.
Botswana's horticulture sector has gained increased importance due to import restrictions on specific horticultural items that came into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Global challenges, such as climate change, however, have led to unpredictable rainfall patterns, resulting in water scarcity and the use of wastewater for irrigation. Farmers frequently turn to effluent water due to limited access to freshwater resources, said Lesedi Modo-Mmopelwa, assistant FAO representative, during the training program.
"This shift towards wastewater for irrigation is born out of necessity, but it also presents significant challenges that we must address to safeguard food safety and the health of communities; hence, we are here to train our horticulture farmers on good agriculture practices using wastewater in vegetable production," Modo-Mmopelwa said. ■