According to Botswana’s Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Philda Kereng, the country should consider venturing into agro-tourism.

The minister was speaking at the launch of the revised agro-tourism guidelines in Serowe on 16 January. The guidelines have been revised, according to the minister in an effort to “facilitate actualisation of the transformational agenda, particularly diversification of the economy and job creation”.

Agro-tourism is an extension of tourism which makes first hand experiences agricultural work and farming communities the attraction that draws tourists in.

According to Kereng, the “cross-cutting nature” of agro-tourism and its potential links with other sectors make it an attractive option for Botswana.

Citing the 2016 Tourism Satellite Account report, the minister highlights that the tourism sector in Botswana contributes an estimated 4.9% to GDP, with the potential to increase.

She added that there were several fields in Botswana currently not being put to maximum use, and which through agro-tourism could feed the nation, create employment and develop rural communities.

Though agro-tourism is already established in the Botswana market, the minister stated that her ministry was “committed to continue leading the sector by providing an enabling environment for tourism growth.” Highlighting that growth is important as Botswana faces increasing competitions from other countries that with similar product offerings.