Gaborone — Caretaker Administrator, at National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC), Dr Boitumelo Motswagole has urged Batswana to produce more locally made food, using indigenous raw materials.
Dr Motswagole stated in a live media brief in Gaborone on Monday, that as a food research institution, engaged in food product development, technology transfer and commercialisation, NFTRC was ready to assist both existing and potential food manufacturers/processors.
She said strategies, such as setting up programmes for agriculture promotion, with emphasis on developing business cases for commercialisation, were already in place to encourage Batswana to find innovative solutions to produce more local food products.
Dr Motswagole also revealed that NFTRC was in the process of transitioning to National Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NARDI), whose purpose is to conduct high quality needs-based research and development, across the agricultural value chain.
NARDI was established by merging NFTRC, Department of Agricultural Research and National Veterinary Laboratory.
She explained that the merger would be highly beneficial to the economy, the agricultural sector and government, as it would contribute to the body of knowledge in Science and agricultural research.
She said once up and running, NARDI would also allow Batswana access to current NFTRC services and even more, across the country.
Meanwhile, Senior Research Scientist at NFTRC, Mr Selalelo Mpotokwane said a Selebi Phikwe-based spin-off company, National Agro Processing (NAPRO), was set up as testimony that NFTRC products were viable.
Mr Mpotokwane thus urged Batswana to utilise NFTRC services such as courses on the use raw of materials to produce foods, food packaging and food safety as well as intellectual property.
Source : BOPA