Botswana: Elderly Small-Scale Farmer Holds On

Motopi — Click to see more pictures

Mr Radikgaka Xhokoni, 75, a small-scale farmer near Motopi at the western end of Boteti West constituency is passionate about livestock farming, having enjoyed its returns from way back in 1982.

Though done primarily on a subsistence basis, Mr Xhokoni's farming venture, in particular small stock rearing, has over the years enabled the old man to fend for his family, which comprises his wife and their 10 children.

Having begun from humble beginnings with just one cow which he inherited from his late father in 1982, Mr Xhokoni used that single animal as a springboard to a more sustainable farming venture.

"That one cow from my father was the start of everything you see here today. I sold it and bought two calves, and that is when the journey to multiple the little that I had began in earnest," he explained.

Mr Xhokoni, who pursues his farming endeavours at Ramoxhiki cattlepost west of Motopi, soon after acquired a goat from a fellow subsistence farmer.

"I exchanged a bag of millet for the goat, and that way I was able to introduce small stock rearing to my budding livestock rearing exercise," he states, showing how the goat acquired through battering had laid the foundation for his small stock venture.

A couple of years later, after gifting his uncle, one Mr Bosele Monthe of Ngamisami cattlepost near Khumaga with a donkey, Mr Xhokoni was delighted when the former thanked him back with two ewes.

The gift inspired him to go into sheep rearing as well.

When his cattle had multiplied to five, he sold and bought four sheep, and it was then that the journey on sheep farming picked up some speed.

To date, Mr Xhokoni looks back with pride at the journey he has been on with regard to farming and livestock rearing in particular.

Having been chosen to benefit from President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi' small stock initiative in the past week intensified his passion for farming and further cemented his faith in farming as a source of living.

Mr Xhokoni received a buck through the initiative, upon receipt of which he and his wife prayed over the animal, enjoining the heavens to keep it safe for the family particularly as the area in which they stay is rife with predators.

The couple assured Vice President and area Member of Parliament, Mr Slumber Tsogwane, who handed over the buck on behalf of the President that they would do their best to safeguard and care for it so that they could reap the most out of it.

Handing over the buck recently, Mr Tsogwane informed the Xhokoni's that President Masisi wanted farmers of all ages to give small stock farming their best shot, as it had been shown that the sub-sector carried great potential to produce wealth for the nation.

He said President Masisi also wished for Batswana to venture into the production of livestock feeds so as to make the sector more sustainable.Mr Xhokoni was one of the last two beneficiaries out of 16 who received bucks and rams during the course of the past week.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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