Botswana: Govt Pledges Help

Bokspits — Government will assist the people of Bokspits, Rappelpan, Vaalhoek and Struitzendam (BORAVAST) to generate wealth through creation of Karakul sheep leather value chain and exploring international markets.

This was said by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi during a kgotla meeting in Bokspits on October 3.

Noting that BORAVAST had comparative advantage due to its geographical location, he said government would facilitate generation of wealth in the region because it was also endowed with natural resources as well as a small stock hub.

President Masisi said arts and culture in the region needed to be developed hence it was pertinent to harness benefits of the Karakul sheep and create leather products at Lobu Smallstock Farm.

He described the farm as a success project and encouraged the people to use it and rear high value small stock.

Dr Masisi said the farm had been resuscitated premised on research which would direct its development henceforth to develop the people.

He said the white karakul sheep should be increased and more local fashion designers should be involved to produce fashion items which would churn fortunes for the people.

He said the farm developed different small stock breeds such as boer goat stud culls, dorpers, white swakara/karakul, dorper rams, Swakara Culls, Savanna culls and castrates, saanen, Savanna castrates and boer goat, brahman.

He said white swakara carried more value when compared to the rest hence government would focus on developing it.

In addition, President Masisi said government would explore international markets where Batswana living in the remote areas could sell using modern technology.

The President said government would come up with programmes and policies based on the resources found in Kgalagadi region to maximize benefits.

"It is against this backdrop that government is steadfast on facilitating a knowledge based economy to bring about value addition and develop value chains hence employment creation for the people," he said.

He said the people of BORAVAST had endured and acclimatised to the Kgalagadi Desert adding they reared Karakul sheep and persevered in the face of tough international market challenges for karakul leather.

The President expressed appreciation that people were taking up government programmes and policies and developing themselves.

Bokspits Village Development Committee chairperson Ms Cathrine Bezuidenhout thanked said the village had benefited from the P10 million constituency programme, Ipelegeng, Primary School fedding programme, ISPAAD and Youth Development Fund among others.

However, she said decried high unemployment rate in the area, shortage of staff housing, lack of ambulance at the clinic and low capacity at the police station.

Source : BOPA

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