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Zutshwa Salt Project in Botswana Secures Major Funding for Triple Production Expansion

The Zutshwa Salt project in Botswana, operated by the Qhaa Qhing Conservation Trust, is set to undergo significant expansion thanks to recent funding. The project, known for producing high-quality salt, will see its production capacity triple with the infusion of funds from key organizations.

The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) in Hukuntsi, represented by Mr. Golebaone Molefe, expressed the need for expansion as the current 44 salt ponds were not generating sufficient profit to sustain the business. In response to this challenge, LEA worked closely with the trust to develop a comprehensive business plan aimed at ensuring profitability. The plan was then presented to esteemed organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Southern Africa Development Commission (SADC), and the Rural Development Council.

The efforts bore fruit as the Zutshwa Salt project successfully secured significant investments from these organizations. The UNDP contributed P1.8 million, the RDC offered P2 million, and SADC stepped in with P2.2 million, bringing the total funding to an impressive P6 million.

The primary objective of this funding is to expand the production capacity of the Zutshwa Salt project. Extensive tests have already established that the salt produced by the project boasts an impressive purity level of 99.9 percent. With the expansion plans in place, the project is expected to meet the escalating market demand for salt both locally and for potential export.

Mr. Molefe emphasized, “Our intention is to expand production so that we can be able to meet market demand in our country. After expansion, we foresee an increase in our employment rate. Our output will also triple.”

The expansion project is slated to kick off in August, commencing with the establishment of a minimum of four boreholes. These boreholes will serve to extract additional salt deposits, facilitating the growth of the salt ponds. As part of the plan, the existing 44 ponds will be expanded further by constructing an additional 10 larger ponds, a move that is set to create over 45 permanent job opportunities.

With the enhanced production capacity, Zutshwa Salt aims to become a key supplier for Botswana Agriculture Marketing Board facilities in the southern region of the country and Maun. The company also has its sights set on potential salt exports. To facilitate the export process, the team is diligently working on obtaining certificates of origin.

One of the notable aspects of the Zutshwa Salt project is the affordability of its product. Mr. Molefe confirmed that the salt produced by the project is safe for both human and livestock consumption and is competitively priced compared to other options available in the market. The simplicity of their salt production method plays a crucial role in keeping costs low. The process involves harvesting salty water into ponds and allowing it to crystallize before adding iodine, ensuring a high-quality product at an affordable price.

However, the project does face challenges, primarily related to equipment maintenance. The corrosive nature of salt results in frequent breakdowns of equipment, requiring continuous attention and investment in this area.

As the Zutshwa Salt project gears up for expansion, the support from the UNDP, RDC, and SADC is a testament to the potential it holds in contributing to the local economy and catering to the nation’s salt needs. The growth of the project is not only a boon for the business but also for the community, as it promises to create new jobs and economic opportunities in the region. With careful planning and investment, the project is well-positioned to make significant strides in the salt industry and secure a bright and prosperous future for itself and Botswana as a whole.

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