MsTimbuNtjenje, 43, has found a niche in the rabbit production business.This is despite frustration of losing her job after being involved in a road accident in 2011.She said she lost her job as a heavy-duty driver after injuring her spine, but she had a family to take care of, so she opted to do rabbit production because it did not require much labour.

MsNtjenje revealed in an interview that she had to do research from the internet and read books to acquire the knowledge she needed.

Through the help of the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund officials and the social workers, she explained that she was enrolled in the poverty eradication programme so that she could do something to sustain her life.Even though it took some years to get the stock and materials to start her business, she finally got them towards the end of 2017.

MsNtjenje said though the materials were not complete, she could start her project, revealing that she was given 11 rabbits, 10 does and a buck, the structure and cages.
"My package came with a shortage of nest boxes and due to financial constraints, I did not manage to buy them, three months later I lost 50 kids and that was a huge set back," she added.

However, she said her business survived the hardships and she now has 36 rabbits; three California, two New Zealand Red and 31 New Zealand White.She said her customers are mainly farmers, individuals (who sometimes want to keep them as pets).
Ms. Ntjenje said she also slaughtered for customers for consumption and sold the pelt to individuals going into business."Rabbits skin can be used to make fur goods like clothing, hats and handbags," she highlighted.

She noted the advantage of being involved in this business was that rabbits matured quickly and multiplied fast, offering opportunity for one to quickly recover costs and investments in a short period of time.

Ms. Ntjenje further said rabbits werenot easily attacked by diseases therefore they were cheap to maintain."This is a relief because all I have to do is to keep a clean environment so that they do not attract mice and feed them properly so they grow well," she added.

She, however, highlighted a challenge of expensive feed, but noted that she supplemented the pellets with the vegetables she grew in her backyard garden.She added she also used their urine and waste as manure in her garden.She said the other challenge was lack of market, noting that the profits were low.
Through social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp, Ms. Ntjenje said she managed to reach a wider audience to advertise her business and had been getting a positive response.

She added that by attending workshops and exhibitions, she managed to network and benchmark with those in the same business.To her, rabbit production did not benefit her as a business only, she revealed that she had developed a relationship with the animals.

"They are like my children, I check them every day when I wake up and when I go to bed in the evening," she said.Furthermore, she said the animals had been part of her healing process, as touching their soft fur, cleaning and feeding them gave her peace of mind.

MsNtjenje wished for her business to grow and be successful and to have a wider market, saying that rabbit meat was known to be nutritious and good for health.
She said some studies had revealed that rabbit meat contained less fats and cholesterol, which was known to contribute to the growing rate of heart diseases and other health complications.

Therefore, the meat could also be used as a substitution of poultry and fish."I have already started an association in the north region and have 12 subscribers and still counting, and we are going to come up with ways to be able to expand and sell our rabbits better to make desirable profits," she added.

Ms. Ntjenje also encouraged other poverty eradication programme beneficiaries to be focused on changing their lives and meeting the government halfway.

Source: Botswana Daily News
At a meeting in Bali, Indonesia last recently, the heads of four international organizations issued a strong call to ease trade tensions and refocus on the importance of trade and the multilateral trading system in fueling economic growth. This call was made by Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, together with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Bank President Jim Kim and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, at a jointly-organized conference under the theme “How global trade can promote growth for all.”

According to the Director General of the World Trade Organization Mr.Azevêdo, the trading system is not perfect — but it represents the best efforts of governments around the world, working together for 70 years, to find ways to cooperate on trade issues. He pointed that it took a lot of people and a lot of time to push the boulder this far up the hill. Thus, even keeping it in place requires constant effort.

Mr. Azevedo said that currently, the WTO covers around 98% of global trade and has overseen a historic opening of markets and integration of economies. Since 1980, average tariffs have been cut by two thirds. The system has provided stability and predictability in global trade — holding firm even during the financial crisis. And, as a result, it has helped to fuel unprecedented growth and development around the world, as well as a dramatic reduction in poverty. To him, the system has real value so there is need to keep working on it.

Mr. Azevedo then pointed out the need to explore all avenues which could ease the current tensions and strengthen the trading system.  “We all know the risks of further escalation — risks to the economy and risks to the trading system itself, which would multiply the economic risks over the long term. We can’t let that happen. We need trade and the trading system to play their part in fueling growth — just as they have done so effectively for seven decades.” He said.

Source: World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization and six other international organizations have recently pledged to deliver greater financial inclusion in trade.
At a special session during the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, the organizations committed themselves to finding ways to close the gaps in trade finance provision.

During the event held in October 2018, the Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said that despite the importance of trade finance, a number of problems have emerged since the financial crisis. Supply and demand have become unbalanced. Perceived regulatory risk, combined with the low capacity of the financial sector in some countries, has resulted in big gaps in provision. The Asian Development Bank estimated that the global gap in trade finance is about $1.5 trillion. This gap represents a significant barrier to trade. It is of particular concern that this gap affects developing countries and smaller businesses the most. Today, 60% of trade finance requests by SMEs are rejected.

Mr. Azevedo said that opportunities for growth and development are being lost, which to him was a clear indication that action is required. He pointed that over the recent years they have been building a coalition to that end. Philippe (Le Houérou, CEO of the International Finance Corporation) and Mr. Azevedo joined forces and started reaching out to the heads of the regional development banks, the Chair of the Financial Stability Board, and many others.

He outlined the significant progress that has already been made in recent years, including to enhance the trade finance programs of key institutions. These programs are expected to support over $35 billion of trade this year, which is an increase of more than 50% over two years. He also outlined progress in addressing the knowledge gaps in local financial institutions, and in increasing dialogue with regulators to ensure that necessary financial regulations do not have unintended consequences for trade finance, which is a very low risk form of lending. He pointed to further actions which are needed in each of these areas.

Mr. Azevendo pointed that there is need to make global trade more inclusive, but further added that trade inclusion needs financial inclusion. He then explained that there was need to continue developing concrete ideas and solutions that make a real difference. Working with a range of partners – including the private sector – which can then help provide momentum to this work.

Source: World Trade Organization