Former high ranking cop, Tapudzani Pester Gabolekwe, has traded his badge for farming. After retiring from the Botswana Police Service (BPS) in April 2020 where he served for 40 years, the former top cop did not waste any time before trading his uniform for overalls.
Speaking to The Business Weekly & Review in a telephonic interview this week, Gabolekwe – who rose through the ranks until becoming Deputy Commissioner – said he has always had a passion for farming and thanked the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) for the loan he obtained from the financial assistance parastatal.
Based in Gweta, the retired police officer has a company called Gabolekwe Farms where that rears cattle and goats and grows animal feeds and green produce. “We have just over 200 brahman and simbra cattle,” he said.
CEDA financed the project with P600 000 that went into “artificial insemination, providing reservoirs for both cattle and the horticulture farm (100 000 litres each), irrigation of the horticulture farm and electrical installation using solar energy”, Gabolekwe said.
The farm supplies zero tooth cattle to feedlotters and plough in blocks. “At each given time, we maintain four blocks of 20 000 heads of cabbage at four different stages, two blocks of tomatoes, and half a block each for vegetables like spinach, rape and chomolia,” he added. “We also do green pepper half a block.” Gabolekwe Farm supplies local markets and vendors in Gweta and Maun. “We also supply to local lodges around the village,” said the retired police officer with enthusiasm.
He is already considering prospects of future expansion that will entail improving his cattle breed by introducing the simmentaler through artificial insemination. The aim is to have 300 simmentalers in four years. “As for horticulture, it is our plan to build tunnels, funds permitting,” Gabolekwe told The Business Weekly & Review “We will implement corrective measures to improve production.” Gabolekwe Farms aims at becoming a large scale commercial producer that will supply the entire country.