Farmers in Zone 6 and Zone 7 areas have been assured that the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) has been controlled and that the situation is now stable.
When addressing farmers at the official opening of the recent Agriculture show at Sebele, Minister of Agriculture, Christiaan de Graff, said the restocking of cattle and small stock had alsostarted.
“Some parts of Ngamiland are also stable and are being facilitated to export cattle and also to sell to the Maun abattoir,” he said and added that Fruitfly infected farms have been quarantined to limit the spread of the pest to other parts of the country and that the situation was being closely monitored.
De Graff also revealed that subsidy of some livestock feeds has been put in place as a strategy to reduce livestock losses due to drought.
“We have also allowed export of live cattle to reduce stocking levels and to avert drought related mortalities.
On LITS and LAC stocking levels there is concerted effort to improve the situation,” he said.
The Minister also told exhibitors that the agriculture sector had recorded growth over the past few years.
Last year, he said, the Ministry realised growth in horticulture, honey production and sheep and goat meat production.
Local horticulture production increased from 36 201 tons in 2010/11 to 41 000 tons in 2011/12.
Honey production increased from 13 tons in 2010/11 to 14.2 tons in 2011/12 and the number of smallstock slaughtered at municipal abattoirs increased from 13 986 in 2011 to 26 126 in 2012.
“The Botswana Meat Commission slaughter figures also increased from 80 087 cattle in 2011 to 112 841 cattle in 2012.
These few examples though still below our capacity, confirm that the agriculture subsector is growing,” De Graff said.