- Refurbished stores to become one-stop centres of choice for agricultural products and services
The Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB), has revamped its Gaborone West Department Store as part of a five-year strategy to refurbish and revamp some of its stores to improve efficiency and profitability.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BAMB, Dr Benjamin Ditsele, says the overall strategy is a makeover of the look and feel of the parastatal’s 10 best performing branches as one of the key means of achieving its objectives of diversification, efficiency and effectiveness.
He was speaking at the Gaborone West store opening on the 29th of April. “Gaborone West being amongst the top 10 performers was chosen to pilot this plan. The idea behind revamping of Gaborone West Branch started in February 2020. However, the actual refurbishment of the building only began in October 2021. The branch was revamped alongside expansion of its product line portfolios with the intention to increase total product sales revenue and profit,” said Ditsele, giving an overview of the project.
The new all-in-one agricultural shop will meet customers’ “evolving needs” by offering a variety of products that complement BAMB’s line of business. According to Ditsele, the store will also help with risk diversification “because sales trends of the current BAMB product portfolio show that most, if not all, of our products are affected by seasons”. “Some products do not sell at all when their seasons are over,” he said. “This continues to affect profitability of the company, hence the need to consider introducing new portfolios not directly affected by seasons.”
By diversifying its product portfolio, BAMB – whose key mandate is to provide a market for locally grown scheduled crops – expects to attract new talent because gifted people tend to prefer joining innovative companies. It should also increase the parastatal’s earning capacity and open new marketing opportunities for the business. Speaking at the same event, the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Setlhabelo Modukanele, applauded BAMB for the critical role it played at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic by availing a market for local farmers to channel their produce to consumers.
“I need not overemphasise the devastating negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the agriculture industry at large and we as a country were not spared,” Modukanele said. He added that BAMB’s expansion of product lines should be seen as an opportunity for other businesses in the same supply chain to consider BAMB as a market outlet for their products. The junior minister encouraged Batswana to approach BAMB to market their products in order to create youth employment and support local businesses.