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Authority set to address farmers challenges

16 May 2023

The Meat Industry Regulatory Authority is designed to liberalise, promote competitiveness in the beef industry and consequently address challenges faced by beef farmers.

All these efforts demonstrate government’s commitment and unwavering support towards the beef industry.

This was said by Minister of Agriculture and Food Security when addressing farmers at a field day organised by Tshephe Farmers Association held at a cattle post near Dutlwe on Saturday.

“The establishment of a meat regulatory body will allow full participation of all key value chain players in the running of the beef industry and develop the linkages. 

We remain committed to continue developing the beef industry value chain to unlock more opportunities in the sector,” he added.

Minister Molao reminded farmers that Botswana was well known for its high quality beef in the international market space, evidenced by Botswana’s ability to sustain the European Union and Norway markets.

He said this was because of the strict disease control measures and good animal traceability system that could trace beef from farm to fork.

Mr Molao said this had been made possible by government investing in Botswana Animal Identification and Trace Back System (BAITS) as well as commitment to compliance by farmers.

Meanwhile, to date, the total number of registered holdings, he said, stood at 763 while 156 have been audited and only 35 were compliant to EU requirements.

He therefore urged farmers to utilise existing platforms to share information in order to increase livestock production and improve livelihoods.

Minister Molao further implored farmers to adopt good livestock management practices that would result in increased production.

He also urged them to keep records on production, business operations and even on the use of medication as required by BAITS for international market accessibility.

In addition, he appealed to farmers to form strong associations that could facilitate the input of the farming community in the formulation of programmes and policies.

Furthermore, he advised them to participate in the livestock performance recording scheme and breed top quality animals that could be sold in the international market while at the same time they should strive to respond to international market requirements.

TECHNO Feeds CEO, Mr Rihan Swanepoel shared information on proper feeding and supplement with farmers teaching them how to calculate their net profits based on a proper feeding programme. 

He also advised them that in order to realise profits, they should ensure that their animals had enough forage and access to water.

Mr Swanepoel also advised farmers to improve their inter-calving period in order to improve profitability.

The association chairperson, Mr Andrew Magogwe said the field day was intended to allow farmers to share knowledge, technical skills and experiences and network with various service providers in the beef value chain.

The host farmer, 64-year-old Mr Mmolaadira Lopang started breeding cattle in 1978 after he bought his first herd in South Africa.

He then moved his cattle from Tlokweng to Lephephe then Sorilatholo until he bought his current farm.

In 2004 he drilled a borehole, introduced a Simmental bull and bought some simbra cattle in Ganzhi. Currently his breeding stock stands at about 200 cattle. 

He urged aspiring farmers not to shy away from challenges because everything has its own challenges.

Farmers were also enlightened on programmes such as artificial insemination, BAITS as well as various schemes from stakeholders such as BMC, LEA, and CEDA among others.

The theme for this year’s event was: Tackling the Challenges of Becoming a Profitable Beef Sector by 2036.” ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Lindi Morwaeng

Location : DUTLWE

Event : Tshephe Farmers Association field day

Date : 16 May 2023