Mahalapye — If taken seriously, the small stock sub-sector can propel Botswana towards its aspiration of attaining food self-sufficiency, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.
Donating bucks to two Mahalapye farmers yesterday, President Masisi said small stock production did not only give a high return on investment but was also advantageous because its dividends could be realised in a short period of time.
He said the small stock initiative was one avenue through which the country could achieve the food self-sufficiency feat.
"As a country we should produce our own food, and this small stock initiative is a seed that can help us realise this dream," he said.
Dr Masisi also pointed out that realisation of an inclusive economy meant that every Motswana had to be taken on board through government's different economic empowerment programmes.
Handing over a buck each to Ms Kediemetse Gaongalelwe at Tshabelatau cattle post and Mr Keotshabile Seepamore at Morale East, south of Mahalapye, President Masisi implored the beneficiaries to find ways of sharing their gifts with other Batswana.
He urged them to care for the bucks and ensure that they multiplied before either selling or even giving their offspring to fellow farmers as gifts.
"That way, you will have ensured that many more people also benefit from this initiative," he said.
For his part, Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Mr Karabo Gare encouraged Mr Seepamore, a youth, to hold dear to his dream of becoming a small stock producer of note.
He also urged him to work hard in order to become an inspiration for other youths.
"I believe you chose this path not because of unemployment but rather because you want to pursue agriculture as a business," he said.
Reiterating the need to attain an inclusive economy, Vision 2036 coordinator Mr Christopher Molomo, said it was encouraging to see the youth also taking up ventures such as agriculture which were previously believed to be the preserve of older people.
Mr Molomo called on Mr Seepamore and other young farmers to incorporate technology in their farming pursuits describing it as the key with which they could unlock the future.
According to the district agricultural coordinator for central region Mr Obert Mabutha, Ms Gaongalelwe, a LIMID beneficiary, had successfully multiplied her flock and used proceeds from sales to improve her life.
Regarding Mr Seepamore, Mr Mabutha explained that the young farmer was self-funded and had in addition to keeping goats, had introduced sheep in his farm .
He said Mr Seepamore was doing reasonably well.
The small stock initiative, through which President Masisi lends support to identified small-scale producers by donating high breed bucks and rams to improve their flock, will be extended to 14 selected farmers this week.