Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) has recorded an upsurge in revenue and profits despite the last year being characterised by severe drought.
According to the board CEO, Leonard Morakaladi, who presented the financial results to the media this week, BAMB registered revenue of P328.6 million during the 2018/19 financial period.
He revealed this represents an increase of 14.9 percent from the P286 million recorded during the 2017/18 financial year.
orakaladi attributed the revenue growth to strengthened relationships with key clients.
During the current financial period, BAMB managed to return a profit of P7.7 million, which is all the more impressive considering they suffered a massive P63.54 million loss in the previous period.
This was the only loss that the organisation has registered in the past five years, with the highest profit, P34 million, coming in 2016 followed by a P20 million profit in 2017.
BAMB’s grain purchases for the last two financial years have been dominated by sorghum, which accounted for 69 percent and 70 percent respectively.
Maize and pulses were the other big-hitters.
Stock holdings for sorghum and millet have been standing at zero for the past two years.
In 2019, the amount of sorghum bought by BAMB from farmers stood at 18, 182 metric tonnes, whereas maize was 4,480 metric tonnes and pulses 3, 768 metric tonnes.
By monetary value, grain purchases have been fluctuating for the past five years, the highest coming in 2018 when the value stood at P142 million.
The lowest was in 2016, with value of purchases standing at P96.3 million. During the current financial year, the value of grain purchases is P121 million.
In the same period, Morakaladi says credit exposure decreased from P278 million to P165 million as the board focused its energies and all available cash resources towards repayment of its credit facilities with lenders.
According to Morakaladi, the challenges currently facing the industry include low harvest yields, drought, which has already been declared again this year, as well as aging plants.
Back in March this year, the BAMB CEO had cautioned about a serious shortage of food in Botswana due to low rainfalls, which he warned was a threat to the country’s food security.
At the time, he indicated that the stock levels for sorghum stood at 48, 000 metric tonnes, white maize at 1, 500 metric tonnes and 2, 000 metric tonnes.