Beef farmers advised to diversify their farming
23 May 2023
Beef farmers have been encouraged to expand their enterprises by tapping into other initiatives geared towards improving agricultural output and diversifying products.
“Agriculture is the backbone of everyone’s livelihood and one should always look to do it as a business and help the country produce food,” stated Botswana Beef Producer Union Secretary.
Officiating at the maiden Mmashoro Ranchers and Farmers Association field day on Saturday, Mr Andrew Seeletso encouraged farmers to take a lead in the economic diversification drive by promoting and implementing various agricultural technologies such as climate smart agriculture.
He said the field day themed: Establishing Sustainable Relations Within the Farming Community, was meant for farmers to share ideas on how to diversify their enterprises and work together.
Mr Seeletso said the association was birthed to address challenges faced by farmers in the Mmashoro North area such as destruction by elephants.
He encouraged youth to produce fodder and do artificial insemination though acknowledging that ranches needed amenities to attract youth to venture into farming, which he said was a worthy investment with significance to the country.
These, he said, would help develop different cattle breeds to improve the agricultural sector output, which he said could help to facilitate the reduction of food import bill and also increase employment opportunities.
Mr Seeletso stated that they wanted Botswana Meat Commission to be operated by farmers who would ensure that the commission made profit and farmers were paid well.
The association was registered in January out of a concern that elephants were a menace to their farming efforts.
Mmashoro Ranchers and Farmers Association chairperson, Mr Keikanetswe Moesi said such predators as lions and hyenas were also terrorised livestock while farmers often warded off elephants that repeatedly destroyed ranch fences.
He said elephants destruction compensation should be reviewed.
Transport costs for ferrying cattle to the BMC were some of the challenges the farmers mentioned, which he blamed on lack of proper road infrastructure.
Mr Moesi said because of poor communication infrastructure, they often lost animals because one had to travel long distance to seek the help of veterinarians.
A farmer, Mr Mpho Chimbisi, said he was disheartened that the youth were not interested in farming.
He said it was disturbing to see young people who were raised by farmers not interested in the trade, hence the idea to organise the field day to showcase what farming could bring about to the lives of young people. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Tshiamiso Mosetlha
Location : MMASHORO
Event : Farmers Association Day
Date : 23 May 2023