Dukwi — Small stock is in high demand but quality and inadequate supply are major setbacks to the industry, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has staed.
Presenting a red buck to Dukwi farmer Mr Kgosietsile Modisaotsile yesterday as part of his initiative to inspire farmers to participate in small stock production, Dr Masisi encouraged Batswana to improve their livestock breeds.
Saying the industry had a bright future, he explained that a market had been secured in Saudi Arabia for small stock.
Government, he said, was looking forward to start slaughtering at the Francistown abattoir and start exporting small stock meat.
Dr Masisi therefore emphasised the need to improve on quality to meet the demand.
He said small stock production formed part of Vision 2036 which aimed at making Botswana's economy to flourish with local produce.
To ensure growth of the economy, it was imperative for Batswana to stand up and play their part and grow the agribusiness, he said.
In addition, Dr Masisi said Batswana should be seen as players in the economy through engaging in production of good quality breed of stock.
He encouraged Batswana to venture into small stock production as it had quick returns and could add more value to the economy.
Mr Modisaotsile, a Youth Development Fund (YDF) beneficiary, said through the P100 000 funding he received in 2015, he purchased 50 goats and two bucks.
Appreciating the President's gift, Mr Modisaotsile said it was encouraging to see government support farmers.
Among the challenges he had experienced, Mr Modisaotsile mentioned drought and stock theft.
He said although he had been forced to buy stock feed, returns had remained good.
Mr Modisaotsile said his love for farming helped him to persevere, noting that at one point he lost many goats but soldiered on until he recovered.
To date, he has 68 goats with 43 offsprings but due to drought he is feeding mainly the bucks and off-springs only, while others are taken out to the grazing areas.
He said he had been able to sustain himself with income from the business and had managed to build his own house as well as drill a borehole.
Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Ms Beauty Manake revealed that government was considering developing Dukwi into an agricultural production area due to its great potential and availability of underground water.
Ms Manake said 14 500 hectares of land was available for allocation in the near future.
Source : BOPA