Botswana Government has begun to provide 20 % feed subsidy for extensive grazing livestock across the country effective September 1 until January 31, 2021. Says a press release from the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security. The declaration was made following a recommendation by the Botswana Vulnerability Assessment Committee.
It also explains that the rolled out program was intended to assist livestock farmers to continue supplementing their livestock to ensure adequate nutrients supply to animals and evade drought related mortalities in the hard hit parts of the country.
Botswana Livestock industry is among the top three in contributing to the country’s GDP and the expansion of this industry in recent years is partly a result of moves towards integration into the global economy. In the colonial period, livestock raising was the backbone of the national economy. It however remains the livelihood of the rural economy in the post-colonial era. Botswana’s export-driven cattle industry has led to the establishment of a well-equipped infrastructure ranking among the most developed in Africa.
According to the press release, livestock feeds are accessible at all complaint feed retail outlets and beneficiaries are required to produce valid Omang copies and livestock Keeper Card or Brand Certificate in order to benefit from the subsidy.
Meanwhile, Kgalagadi District (BORAVAST), North East, Bobirwa, Boteti, Tutume, Tonota, Palapye and Mahalapye sub-districts have been declared drought stricken areas due to poor rains that lead to poor pastures.
The industry has much support from the government which has seen the cattle population continuously grow. However, accelerated overgrazing of rangelands due to overstocking of cattle by both communal and commercial farmers leaves much to be desired.
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News