Shashe Mooke — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi's small stock industry promotion initiative was on September 11 extended to Shashemooke, Mandunyane and Ditladi farmers.
In an endeavour to farmers help farmers close food security gaps in the country, the President donated a ram to Ms Nthonyana Molebi of Shashemooke, a buck to Mr Boikanyo Goitsekgosi of Mandunyane and a male Boer goat to Ms Elizabeth John of Ditladi.
He explained that the aim of the initiative was to help farmers commercialise their production regardless of size.
Dr Masisi therefore encouraged beneficiaries to be passionate about their small stock business.
The donations, he explained, did not come easy because he had to negotiate with successful farmers to assist less privileged but passionate small stock producers.
The President reiterated that there were better returns in small stock production as compared to cattle.
Ms Molebi, is continuing her late stock farmer husband's legacy while Mr Goitsekgosi is a former BCL employee who ventured into sheep and goats rearing upon closure of the mine.
The third beneficiary, Ms John, was funded by the Youth Development Fund (YDF) to the tune of P90 000 and currently has 73 goats from the 21 goats she had purchased through the funds.
Ms John disclosed that she had managed to pay back over 70 per cent of the loan amount.
In Ditladi, Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Ms Beauty Manake said a small stock federation union had been established to help find ways of improving Botswana's small stock industry.
Ms Manake also stated that Ditladi, which formed part of the SPEDU region, was likely to benefit in terms of enhanced and developed agriculture sector which would ultimately play a role in the revitalisation of the area's economy.
She said government was committed to assisting Batswana in the development of the agriculture sector in the region to make it more attractive.
Agribusiness investment in areas such as field crop production, horticulture, aquaculture, poultry, piggery as well as other small stock projects would be supported, she said.
Ms Manake therefore appealed to Ms John to increase her livestock production and continue diversifying her business.
Tati East MP, Dr Douglas Letsholathebe promised to back Ms John in growing her business.
Dr Letsholathebe, who is the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research Science and Technology thanked the President for taking the lead in securing markets for sheep and goat meat in Saudi Arabia and Norway.
For his part, Tonota MP, Mr Pono Moatlhodi shared the same sentiments and thanked the President for assisting his constituents.
The presidential initiative has so far covered 10 constituencies.
Source : BOPA