Ngami farmers vow to eradicate stock theft
Farmers in Ngamiland have made it their mission to fight stock theft in their jurisdiction with the ultimate goal of earning maximum returns on their livestock.
Umbrella Farmer’s Committee Chairman, Lekopanye Ledimo, confirmed they have been in talks with relevant stakeholders to find ways of curbing cattle rustling in Ngami.
“We have come up with a suggestion that we have specific kraals where the selling and buying of livestock will be done openly to avoid farmers being cheated on their livestock or people selling cattle that are not rightfully theirs,” revealed Ledimo.
He is confident this will give the farmers control of transactions as cattle will be properly registered and sold at better rates, compared to now where Ledimo accused buyers of taking advantage of farmers by offering relatively small amounts while they resell the same cattle at higher prices.
Telling The Voice how the new arrangement would work, he explained, “Every village will have two market days [a month] but one can still transport their cattle to any kraal where the sale is ongoing to sell their own on specified dates. There should be no backdoor cattle sales in the streets because it gives cattle rustlers a market for their stolen cattle.”
According to Superintendent, Molefhe Molefhe, at Sehithwa catchment area in 2021, 42 cases of stock theft were registered involving 119 cattle valued at P357,000. Matters improved slightly last year, when 35 cases were recorded, where 57 cattle, 22 goats, 10 horses and three donkeys estimated to be P171,000 were stolen.
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Nearly a third-of-the-way through 2023, and the cops are pleased to report that only five cases have been noted so far this year.
“I commend the farmers for playing a role in eradicating stock theft as they are the ones mostly affected. If we had long put in place strict measures in the selling and buying of cattle, stock theft would have declined,” admitted the top cop.
Molefhe went on to urge customers to ensure that all their cattle have brand marks and ear tags for easy identification.
For his part, area Member of Parliament (MP), Carter Hikuama, pointed out that the primary source of livelihood in Ngamiland has always been cattle therefore it is important to protect them at all costs.