As Botswana became a hot spot for foreign small and medium investors, it is crucial for foreign entrepreneurs to know about the detailed information about the agricultural investment in Botswana. My colleague, Magdeline Ketlhokile owner and managing director of Almega Botswana Ltd answered the questions to understand the attracting possibilities of investing in Botswana’s agriculture sectors.
Does it worth to invest in Agriculture in Botswana?
Definitely, the government of Botswana is trying to diversify reliance on diamond mining to other sectors, most importantly tourism, manufacturing and agriculture to uplift the economy of Botswana. Foreign agricultural investors can move to Botswana through the residency by investment program. (Read here the step by step guide to the residency by investment program of Botswana)
Which are the areas of agricultural investment in Botswana?
- Fish farming
- Ostrich Farming
- Horticultural Products
- Grey Water Reuse for Agriculture
- Provision of Agriculture Insurance
- Joint ventures between foreigners and citizen farmers
- Agro-commercial water extraction from river
- Livestock Ranches
- Dairy farming
- Beef farming
- Stock feed and feed lotting
- Grain and fruits production
- Sunflower & processing etc
Who buys agricultural products produced in Botswana?
Production of agricultural products in Botswana is meagre, demand is high within the country, therefore, the government of Botswana open borders for the importation of food supply, the government wishes to see growth in production to be able to produce a surplus for exportation to countries like Zimbabwe where there is a shortage of food.
Are there any exotic agricultural solutions in Botswana? Something different from the traditional products, like a zebra farm?
Well, we do have some game farms but no plantations at all.
How Almega Botswana Ltd supports foreign investors?
We can set up investors interested in Agri farming, give ideas, guide them and hold their hand during the entire immigration and investment process.
What are the government fees and taxes related to the agricultural investment in Botswana?
- Companies: Current tax rate for residents and non-residents is 25%
- Withholding tax rate: 15% on commercial royalties and management fees payable to non-residents.
- 15% on interest payable to both resident and non-residents
- 15% on dividends payable to both residents and non-residents
- 10% on entertainment fees payable to non-residents
What are the challenges of daily work in agriculture in Botswana?
Poor infrastructure, shortage of water, poor management of agricultural land, lack of farm workers, most locals don’t want to work in the farms; therefore, we hire Zimbabweans.
Please, tell us some practical information that you know that investors will need in Botswana
With land, it depends where the investor intends to buy it, whom the clients use to buy, (estate agents put a mark-up and it’s quite expensive, but with us, you can buy up to 10 or more hectares of land with that amount.)
We as Almega always look for affordable land and we carry out the process of changing from leasehold to freehold the reasons why land prices go high with other agents. This is not a costly process and it takes at least a month. So we purchase the land as Almega on behalf of the client and deal with all the transfers applicable.
Please, do not forget that without residents permits, one cannot purchase land but can only do so as a company; they need to register companies first. There is no residency by invest option just in property, but there must be a business plan, create employment, have a skill transfer plan to the locals, a business that will reduce the consumers’ price because of goods being produced locally and also take part in stimulating other economic activities.
An excellent intent business plan is essential.
Agriculture is one of those targeted investments which the Government of Botswana is looking at promoting to help diversify the economy from reliance on mining.
Depending on their business line in agriculture, a real investment can’t go wrong as Botswana is looking at self-sustaining herself yet we do not have enough production in Botswana. Therefore there is more interest in investments on Agricultural projects just like tourism and manufacturing. If possible, produce enough to export to countries like Zimbabwe.
What is the step by step procedure of company forming for agricultural investment in Botswana?
- Company name Reservation
- Declaration of compliance
- Register company
- Open corporate bank account
- Obtain the Tax Identification Number
- Register for VAT
- Secure place of operation
- Applying for license
- Inspection of company premises for Industrial/ trade license
- Register employees for workplace injury insurance
- Obtain Labour clearance certificate
- Apply for work and residence permits (investors)
We do keep readily registered companies (shelf companies), but if the client wants us to register a new company for them, we require the following information
1. Certified passport / Omang copies for shareholders/Permits
2. List of your desired names with the most preferred on top of the list
3. Postal and physical address
4. Consent of split shares
5. Preferred bank to open an account
Do you want to start an agricultural investment in Botswana? Please contact us here!