As part of monitoring activities for their supported projects, the KGDEP and the Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR) undertook a mission to the BORAVAST community on 18th February 2021 to assess progress and determine further interventions required to strengthen these business ventures. The mission entailed consultations with an array of stakeholders including Dikgosi (Tribal leadership), BORAVAST Trust board members and others. Having supported the establishment of the BORAVAST Charcoal production project which was launched in July 2020 and the fodder production business venture, the KGDEP has further facilitated capacity building initiatives for these business ventures as a way of ensuring their long-term sustainability.
Of essence to the trust and its business sustainability is a functional governance structure and this being the case with the BORAVAST, the trust will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) on 24th March 2021. This AGM will be an elective forum for a new board of trustees. The process is also supported by the KGDEP and as part of the implementation of its (KGDEP) Gender Mainstreaming Strategy the project views the AGM as an opportunity to increase active participation of women in leadership positions and therefore encourages stakeholders to play an active role in attainment of this. Consulted stakeholders during the mission strongly advocated for the KGDEP to provide refresher training for the newly elected trustees on issues of governance and further training to the charcoal producers to improve their efficiency and workmanship. The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) which has been engaged by the KGDEP to provide business management and records keeping training for the BORAVAST has also pledged to compliment the KGDEP support through availing more resources for the strengthening business management structures. With this LEA support and further support from the KGDEP, the BORAVAST will be upscaling its businesses’ production capacities and contributing positively to the improvement of the community livelihoods.
The KGDEP will continue its support for the BORAVAST business ventures and will be working with Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) and the Department of Agriculture Research to assist the community in improving its fodder production venture. This assistance will be in the form of skills training, research into determining the nutrition levels of the produced fodder and how it can be enhanced and other necessary support.