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Bots and Lesotho further co-operation in agriculture

Minister DeGraffBotswana's Minister of Agriculture Christiaan De GraaffBotswana's Ministry of Agriculture today signed a memorandum of understanding with their Lesotho counterparts in an effort to increase surveillance of transboundary animal diseases(TAD's) and to bolster information exchange on TAD's control, capacity building on food standards, meat hygiene, inspection and quality assurance and livestock improvement through artificial insemination.

"It is my belief and hope that through collaborations of this nature, aspirations of the two nations can be realized. In fact, this co-operation is in accordance with the objectives of the Joint Bi-lateral Commission of Co-operation(JBCC) and it is therefore, appropriate for use as these two Ministries' to level the ground for the private sector to enable them to make sustainable investment in agriculture," said Lits'oane Simon Lits'oane, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security in Lesotho.

He said, "Promoting co-operation within our region is more sustainable than anything else in the field of agriculture due to similarities in both socio-economic and climatic conditions."

De Graaff believes that the success achieved under the ISPAAD programnme to strengthen food security can be shared and that success with developing vaccines for the livestock can be commercially leveraged for the benefit of countries in the region sharing similar climatic conditions and challenges.

"The signing of this Memorandum of understanding today does not only signify a solid step in developing closer partnership but it will go a long way in strengthening the bilateral cooperation to facilitate trade as well as enhancing the competitiveness of agricultural production between our two countries," said Christiaan De Graaff, Botswana's Minister of Agriculture.

I have no doubt that the areas of co-operation entailed in this MoU, if well implemented will further develop the technical expertise through exchange programmes and intensify the development of research in the agriculture sector in our countries."

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