Category “Botswana”

Botswana: Government to Expedite Agriculture Infrastructure Development

In an effort to optimise agricultural production, government will expedite the Agriculture Infrastructure Development Initiative (AIDI) once the economy has improved. Speaking during a harvest day at Mosi in Southern District on Friday, March 22, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama said under the initiative, government would provide water, power and telecommunications infrastructure across the country for both crops and livestock step by step until the high production areas including Mosisedi were covered.

President Khama explained that the initiative was dealt a serious blow and shelved following the economic recession in 2008. However, he said the Ministry of Agriculture would continue to bring services closer to farmers through agricultural service centres, adding that the Mosisedi commercial farmers were provided with fertilisers, seeds, agricultural machinery and implements through the centre at Good Hope rather than major centres in Lobatse and Gaborone.

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Cooperation Between Angola and Botswana to Boost Cattle Breeding

Lubango — The bilateral cooperation between Angola and Botswana, in agriculture and cattle, will bring advantages to be transformed into better quality of the meat that is produced, as well as boost the creation of cattle in Huíla Province, stated Thursday, in Lubango City, the secretary of State for Agriculture, José Amaro Tati.

Speaking to the press, during the visit of Botswana’s Agriculture minister, Christian Graaf, on Thursday in the southern Huila Province, the Angolan government official considered that the cooperation will bring about opportunities for local businesspeople.

Amaro Tati stressed that the reinforcement of ties between the two countries is crucial for the improvement of the quality of products.

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Botswana: Zambezi Agro-Project to Cost Over P5 Billion

The proposed first and second phases of the Zambezi Integrated Agro-Commercial Development Project (ZIACDP) is estimated to cost about $780 million (P5.4 billion) in setting up the water infrastructure alone.

The ZIACDP is a three-pronged project whose first primary objective includes extracting water from the Zambezi into a 20,000 hectares greenfield farming area about 50, 000 kilometres from Kazungula. The second phase includes taking the water to the Pandamatenga area to irrigate the current farms or the new farming area that will be created.

In an interview with Mmegi, Agriculture Hub coordinator Neil Fitt, says that the project, which is not financed by the national budget or NDP10 due to its magnitude, is expected to be the flagship of Botswana’s quest to attain food security.

“I would estimate the project to cost about $780 million in just setting the water infrastructure alone which will enable us to extract water from Chobe/Zambezi and pump it to the new farming area as well as to Pandamatenga.

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Botswana: Vets Destroy 84 Goats Near Zim Border

Selebi-Phikwe — Bobirwa farmers suffered yet another setback recently when their goats were killed and the carcases destroyed by local veterinary authorities at Semolale following interception of the animals in a foot-and-mouth disease red zone.

Most of the goats belonged to one person, who is now threatening to sue the police for negligence. The rest belonged to two other families.

The 84 goats were intercepted between the Botswana and Zimbabwe cordon fences along the Shashe River, which forms the natural boundary between the two countries.

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Herbs protect against cardiovascular diseases

Scientific research suggests that herbs such as garlic, mint, parsley, ginger, onions and cinnamon are good for health. A dietician at Nyangabwe Hospital in Francistown, Mrs Rose Monyere, told BOPA in an interview that herbs protect people against cardiovascular (the combined function of the heart, blood and blood vessels to transport oxygen) diseases by reducing cholesterol levels and anti-clotting activity.

Mrs Monyere said researchers had found out that some herbs offer protection against some cancers because some medicinal plants had anti-tumour properties (properties that help prevent any abnormal increase in size of body tissue) and enhance the immune system to destroy cancer cells. She said garlic, for example, has a cholesterol lowering effect and therefore reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and has anti-clotting effects.

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Botswana could be hit by shortage of milk in 2010

Botswana could be hit by shortage of milk in 2010 unless the country’s dairy farming capability is scaled up. In an interview quoted by the government Press Agency, head of dairy section in the Ministry of Agriculture Mr Lebane Nthoyiwa said Botswana still had a long way to go to achieve self sustenance in milk production.

This is in spite of the fact that the market for milk and milk by-products remains largely unexploited. Mr Nthoyiwa says government needs to intervene to avert a crisis resulting from South Africa, the major supplier, stopping milk exports in 2010.

South Africa is expecting to host millions of tourists in 2010 because of the FIFA World Cup.

Botswana was hit by a shortage of milk last year.

Mr Nthoyiwa challenges Batswana to venture into dairy farming to fill the gap created by under supply of milk in the market. At present, Botswana dairy farmers produce only 48 per cent of fresh milk consumed in the country while the bulk of the processed milk is imported mostly from South Africa.

Lack of infrastructure in the form of roads and electricity are some of the challenges facing dairy farmers. The fact that milk production is highly capital intensive compounds the problem.

Mr Nthoyiwa contends that a viable dairy initiative costs around P2 million to start. A dairy farmer, he says, needs to be focused and well equipped with management skills. Mr Nthoyiwa expressed concern that though government undertakes initiatives to equip farmers with necessary dairy management skills, most of them preferred to delegate which defeats the objective.

Botswana currently has 5000 dairy cows but at any given time only 33 per cent of them are producing milk instead of at least 80 per cent.

In addition, some dairy farmers do not observe the prescribed feeding regimes and end up producing far below their potential. While a well-fed cow is reported to be capable of producing between 50 to 60 liters of milk per day, Botswana’s average is below 10 liters a day.

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