Feeds Vital to Livestock Farming

| May 18, 2015

Farmers have been urged to consider how they will acquire feeds before they venture into livestock farming.

This was said by the Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Mr Fidelis Molao at a field day on farming systems and fodder production demonstration in Mosetse on May14.

The assistant minister noted that feed was always an afterthought especially when times were difficult and this posed a challenge because in most cases when that time came, feed would either not be available or very costly.

Such a situation, he said, often led to animal losses that could have been avoided if proper planning was put in place to prepare feeds for livestock on time.

Mr Molao said such a practice is one which prompted them as a ministry to aocate for the collaboration of the pastoral and arable farming subsectors because the ultimate mandate of these subsectors is the same being to feed the nation as well as generate wealth through exports to regional and international markets.

Mr Molao further highlighted that the ministry is fully in support of such collaboration because crop production is a pre-requisite to a sustainable and competitive livestock industry.

“Today’s farming should be focused if as farmers we are to contribute meaningfully to the economy,” he said.

He emphasised that the ministry is going to continue to collaborate with farmers in order for them to come up with strategies and initiatives that cushion the effects and challenges associated with farming, especially when the environment is proving to be more difficult.

Programmes such as ISPAAD, LIMID, Poverty eradication and disease control initiatives which include Animal Identification programme, cordon fences to control animal movement, he said , will continue to be implemented. This is because they believe that if these programmes are properly implemented they can make a positive impact in improving production and livelihoods.

Meanwhile, the assistant minister commended the central district for coming up with a tagline that says “In farming nothing goes to waste,” noting that this is an encouragement to farmers that they should know that they can harvest the crop in totality for different but complementary uses such as food and livestock feeds.

On other issues, Mr Molao highlighted that although the rains came late and fell short of providing adequate moisture for effective crop production, in the central district a total of over 83 000 hectares was ploughed with more than 74 000 hectares which account to 89.6 per cent of the ploughed area accounting for row planting.

The Tutume sub district, he said, had more than 13 000 hectares ploughed with 11 639 hectares row planted. He, however, said fodder production is still low with only 444 hectares planted and with this year reported to be a drought, livestock feeds are going to be needed in large quantities to protect and prevent livestock losses.

For his part the host farmer, Mr Joe Linga said efforts by the ministry to improve the sectors are going to encourage them as farmers to do their part to make sure that the sector contributed positively to the economy.

He, however, pleaded with the ministry to allocate more land to those farmers that have proved to have capabilities to add to the growth of the sector, adding they will be able grow the arable and pastoral farming subsectors.

He further made a plea to the government to make arrangements with financial institutions for them to relax their conditions of assisting farmers noting that this will enable farmers to acquire the necessary farming equipment.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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