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Lobu Turns into a Smart Farm

09 Mar 2023

nsform Lobu Small Stock Farm into a smart farm that will leverage advanced technology in the management of small stock.

“So far, information and communications technology infrastructure has been put in place and an optic fibre cable, which runs from Middlepits to Lobu has been connected, Lobu Smallstock Farm manager, Mr Geoffrey Balogi said in an interview.

Mr Balogi also noted that SmartBots Wi-Fi was functional adding that some internet ports had been installed in classrooms to facilitate online training as part of the efforts to transform the farm into a centre of excellence for small stock farming.

He said the Wi-Fi, which had been availed at the administration block, would be extended to residential sites and the auction sale site during phase three of the project roll out.

He said a deliberate action had been taken to digitise the farm to enable it to conduct auctions online in future to allow any Motswana anywhere in the country to stand an equal chance to procure stock.

Furthermore, he said the development would position Lobu in a space to be able to compete and sell its services internationally.

Meanwhile, Mr Balogi said their target was to develop the farm and increase stock, which was currently at 3 300 livestock 63 of which are cattle, 31 horses, and the rest constitute sheep and goats.

“Our aim is to increase the numbers and the quality of flock so that we are able to supply local farmers with quality breeds to improve their herd,” he said.

He said training on small stock farming and management was ongoing, but farmers had been reluctant to attend since the introduction of cost recovery measures. 

Nonetheless, he said they had trained 158 people in the 2022/2023 financial year, who were able to pay a cost of P330 per day or P1 650 for five days.

Furthermore, Mr Balogi said Lobu produced studs and commercial breeds, hence the need to accredit with relevant associations who had authority on breed standards.

“We have registered with the Botswana Boer Goat Breeders Society and Botswana Dorper Breeders Society. 

We have applied to the Botswana Meat Masters Breeders Society. As for Damara and Swakara, we are still to subscribe to Namibia as we do not have a society locally. 

These societies have the authority of breed standards,” he said.

He said the associations determined quality such that when a weaner reaches 12 months.

Inspectors are invited annually to judge breeds and categorise them according to stud, commercial and cull.

In alignment with the vision of the centre, he said they were in the process of implementing small stock artificial insemination (AI) through the Ramatlabama Research Centre even though it required technical know-how.

The farm manager said they intended to hold auctions every six months between March and April after categorising flock to avail them to the farming community. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Calviniah Kgautlhe

Location : LOBU

Event : Interview

Date : 09 Mar 2023