Dairy sector presents Investment opportunities
20 Aug 2023
National milk demand surpasses supply.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Gaborone recently, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Ms Nancy Chengeta, said therefore the sectors needed to reduce the milk import bill and also to create employment for locals.
She shared that for the year 2022/2023 the country produced 7.3 million litres of milk, a 13 per cent decline from the previous year.
She explained that dairy farming in Botswana was stunted because dairy farmers procured their live dairy animals from South Africa, which had had an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease for a very long, which that prohibited farmers from increasing their dairy herd.
However, she was happy that government was procuring semen to help dairy farmers improve their herds.
Ms Chengeta said the dairy sub-sector was an opportunity towards diversification of the mineral dependent economy, saying therefore it needed to grow satisfactorily.
She called for the revival of the industry and increased capacity.
She persuaded farmers to turn to dairy farming for the country to attain self-sustenance in milk production.
Meanwhile, a member of PAC, Mr Pono Moatlhodi, emphasised the need to revert to the use of bolus for identification and traceability of cattle.
Mr Moatlhodi said without bolus, cattle rustlers were at ease, adding that ear tags were easy to remove.
“Ear tags and bolus should be used together,” he said.
Mr Polson Majaga, another member of PAC, said agricultural offices across the country were dilapidated.
He also encouraged government to revitalise the sector.
He reiterated that agriculture was where Batswana got their food, but it was depressing that officers’ accommodation was in ramshackle, adding that, ‘there is need to provide decent housing and better working conditions across the country as well as provide officers with vehicles as they help the nation to feed itself’. Ends
Source : BOPA
Author : Lesedi Thatayamodimo
Location : Gaborone
Event : PAC
Date : 20 Aug 2023