Gaborone — The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) has recognised the importance of diversifying the economy through rearing of wildlife commonly practiced in game ranches.
Briefing the media in Gaborone on Tuesday, DWNP director, Dr Kabelo Senyatso, said some Batswana had shown interest in venturing into game ranching.
The main challenge had been requirements stipulated in the policy.
Another challenge, he said was exorbitant monetary costs associated with the enterprise especially at start up.
It has been realised that many Batswana had ploughing fields and in most cases, the harvest generated from these was not always economically rewarding, he said.
He, therefore, said apportioning parts of a single farm into different uses could improve returns if well implemented.
Dr Senyatso further noted that the main objective of the plan was to provide the aspiring citizens an opportunity to have wildlife as part of production in their land and to facilitate the protection of wild animals in small agricultural land holdings.
The director also explained that every citizen with valid Omang and registered land who had an intention to keep wildlife was eligible as part of their production in a field.
Interested individuals he said, would be expected to make an application to the director of Wildlife and National Parks accompanied by a project proposal, documenting the intentions of the applicant.
He also emphasised that game keeping would significantly contribute to sustainable utilisation of wildlife, economic growth, creating employment to communities and changing their livelihoods.
Those who wished to own game ranches should also provide proof that they had been granted permission to keep wildlife on their property said the director.
Dr Senyatso also explained that if the applicant had already submitted application to land authorities, proof of submission of such could be submitted along with application to rear game.
For his part, chief veterinary officer, Dr Mmadi Reuben encouraged Batswana to take advantage of the opportunity and utilise it.
He also noted that his office would be open for mentoring and training on how to keep wild animals.