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Jwaneng readies for mutton production post diamonds

02 Apr 2023

 In an endeavour to ensure sustainable economic activity post diamond production, Jwaneng Mine has embarked on facilitating mutton production for international markets, both existing and emerging.

Speaking during a mine tour by Southern District Councillors on Thursday, Jwaneng Mine general manager, Mr Koolatotse Koolatotse said their plan was to transform Jwaneng to a food security hub through small stock production, mainly sheep.

He noted that following expert advice, plans were underway to prepare the area for mass production of mutton to meet the markets in Norway and possibly Saudi Arabia.

Mr Koolatotse said even though mutton production was intended to replace diamonds, there was need to start production before mine closure.

He was optimistic that the objective was attainable since Batswana were known for livestock rearing. 

“The easiest way to maintain Batswana beyond diamonds is to take them back to agriculture,” he said.

Additionally, Mr Koolatotse noted that Jwaneng mine was upgrading their airport in preparation for an envisaged international show intended to provide an opportunity for industry players to showcase and interact.

He also said they were creating a digital ecosystem to enhance various stakeholder interaction and efficient service provision.

He said the intention was to exploit all value chain opportunities, while at the same time creating a database for various sub-sectors.

Consequently, the general manager implored councillors to encourage farmers in their communities to venture into sheep production to ensure food security for economic diversification.

For his part, SDC chairperson, Mr Sonny Phiri applauded Jwaneng mine for its contribution to the economy of the country and devising strategies for sustainable economic projects beyond diamond mining.

“Economic diversification is important because diamonds are not forever, and we are therefore impressed that Debswana is working on other projects that could sustain the country when diamonds are no more,” he said.

He said as community leaders, they had to mobilise people around the area to venture into sheep farming to ensure mass production for export. 

He noted that the initiative would also go a long way in eradicating poverty within communities. 

In addition, Mr Phiri underscored the need for Batswana to consider game farming as another way of diversifying the economy. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : kehumile moekejo

Location : Jwaneng

Event : Mine Tour

Date : 02 Apr 2023