Gaborone - Botswana is drawing inspiration from Namibia’s successful small stock production initiative as it gears to export goat meat to Nordic and Middle Eastern markets.
It started with a social media post by Gaborone’s High Commissioner in Windhoek, Dr Batlang Serema, to the effect that he had just been to a sale by Namibian Livestock Auctioneers Ltd where two rams were sold for N$75,000 (US$4,400).
Following the post, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi started mobilising the nation to venture into commercial small stock production.
"I have just seen this post by our High Commissioner-Designate to Namibia Dr Batlang Serema. It is a confirmation that indeed there are good returns in small stock production. My aim is to make Botswana the land of small stock. We must increase our small stock herd. As I have informed you, we have found a lucrative market in Norway and the Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” he said.
President Masisi said he was making a personal contribution via donation of bucks and rams to farmers.
After making one such donation, he said: “I want us to develop and nurture a passion for small stock production. We can be able to feed ourselves and also meet the demands of these big markets. Namibia is already in full force and wants us to catch up with them.”
President Masisi said the small livestock export drive was also in line with Botswana’s National Vision 2036.
“Yes, we can venture into small stock production at a commercial level and yes you are I have a role to play in closing the food security gaps we have in Botswana. So there is no better time to start than now,” he said.
He said many Batswana have done a lot for themselves with proceeds from the sale of small stock.
“As I traverse the country donating rams and bucks to some Batswana to promote small stock production I come across many heart-warming stories on how small stock uplifted people’s lives,” said President Masisi.
“I also advise (farmers) to use technology to market and monitor their livestock. I encourage educated young people to help their parents take advantage of technology to monitor their livestock, market and sell it through the use of technology. This is what our National Vision 2036 is all about. We want to be an export-led economy and have food security.”
The Office of the President said Norway wanted 400 tonnes of meat as part of the European Union Free Trade Association-Southern Africa Customs Union (EFTA-SAUC) Agreement with Botswana, Eswatini and Namibia.