New era for livestock farmers

Bame Piet
New era for livestock farmers

President Masisi urges farmers to embrace genetically superior breeds

The arrival of 150 dairy goats and 92 beef cattle from Australia on Tuesday morning may have ushered in a new era for livestock farmers in the country.

The consignment arrived just three weeks after the launch of Thuo-letlotlo; a holistic output-based programme commercially-oriented to facilitate transformation and development of the livestock industry into an export-led sector.

Thuo-letlotlo is expected to play a significant role in growing the livestock population from the current 1.5 million to 4 million in the coming few years.

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Speaking at the welcome ceremony of the Australian beasts at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the recent livestock imports will be used for both semen and embryo production.

He implored farmers to work hard and take advantage of the initiative to improve the livestock quality as well as their livelihoods.

He added that farmers must keep databases of their animals, equipment, and welfare of their animals as well as their employees, and know everything that is going on in their business and form more associations to speak with one voice and exchange ideas.

“I implore you to take advantage of Thuo-letlotlo. Go out and succeed. Once you take it, use it wisely and graduate to a better stage,” said President Masisis.

He further said the importation of genetically superior breeds as well as semen and embryos will go an extra mile in augmenting the Thuo-letlotlo programme so that it realizes its broader objectives.

Some of the imported cattle breeds include Sherlyn, Sherlyn bulls, Droughtmaster, Limousin bulls and Heifers, Marray Grey bulls and heifer, Simmental bulls and heifers, Shorthorn Bulls and heifers, Wagyu bulls and heifers.

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The goats include British Alpine and Nubien goats.

According to the President the importation of livestock and small-stock superior breeds is aimed at supporting the recently launched, Thuo-letlotlo programe.

The new programme will enable Micro Scale farmers to purchase stock, inputs, equipment and other structures as prescribed per subsector. The funds for 100% subsidy will be approved through Thuo-letlotlo Livestock Management System.

The funds will be disbursed through an electronic voucher that will be managed by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) and Botswana Building Society Bank.

The voucher will enable farmers under this category to transact with BAMB to package inputs, with MoA playing a major role in the assessment and approval of livestock procured before suppliers are paid.

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