A group of young farmers have teamed up to form a group called e-Horn Group which will work together to ensure that a safe and secure identification method for animals is found and put to use by various stakeholders.
Group representative Livingstone Kentshitswe told various stakeholders amongst them, North West Intergrated Farmers Association (NWIFA), Wildlife Officers and Botswana Police Officers in Maun last week that there is a micro-chip which can be used in the fight against poaching and stock theft across Africa and the rest of the world. Kentshitswe mentioned that the micro –chip will be inserted in either horn or hoof.
“You drill where you want to insert it and then after insertion you fill the hole with body filler so that thieves do not see it.” He said that once done the farmer or officers can use the e-horn transmitter which works like a GPS to track their animals. He said that the system is cheap, safe and secure identification.
He added that it can also be used to trace owners of matimela cattle because it will be having all the necessary information of the owner just like the bolus.
“It is cheap, small, safe to use and can improve traceability or identification of animals.”
Kentshitswe pointed out that the micro-chip will be of use unlike ear tags which can get lost or removed by thieves. He said that it will also reduce cost to farmers because farmers may start paying P15 for each bolus inserted as per the Ministry of Agriculture’s request.
However some farmers argued that once put in place, thieves will start throwing away hoofs and horns after killing cows. They said that it can be of use to wild animals especially elephants. “If you insert in elephant tusk, it will be good because poachers target them but in cows it is meat that they target.”
Kentshitswe asked for farmers to give them their support to convince government to put the new method in place. Meanwhile the Chairperson of NWIFA , Simon Bojosi thanked the e-Horn Group for coming up with such a method but declined to comment further saying he still has to consult with farmers first.