The bull donation initiative aimed at improving the declining cattle population in the country continues to empower more farmers as President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi drive’s spreads across the country.
President Masisi has fulfilled his promise of donating 40 bulls in the North West region starting by gifting three bulls to farmers of Nxaraga in Maun West, Pelotshwana cattle post in Ngami and Sanyana cattle post in Maun East yesterday.
It is expected that by the end of this week, President Masisi through some of his ministers would have donated 40 pedigree bulls in the North West region, with Maun East, Maun West, Ngami and Okavango receiving 10 each.
Speaking during a ceremony to donate a bull in Tsetseku cattle post in Nxaraga in Ngamiland, Dr Masisi urged women to use government programmes particularly those within the agricultural space with a view to eke a living, create employment and ensure food security.
“This initiative should not give anybody the wrong impression that it is replacing the already available interventions geared towards uplifting the livelihoods of Batswana. It is merely meant to compliment established programmes to fast-track the nation towards food sustenance and wealth creation as espoused in Vision 2036,” he said.
The bull donation drive, President Masisi said, was also meant to improve the quality of Botswana’s beef as well as help bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
He was pleased that the beneficiary farmer of the five-year Draught Master Pedigree bull, Ms Venjerira Kauhomonua had over the years proven to be a farmer of repute whose commitment towards livestock was certain.
In Sanyana, where 47-year-old Mr Mogomotsi Motlapele was gifted a pure Beefmaster bull, Dr Masisi encouraged beneficiaries to aid other farmers. He encouraged them to tap into the artificial insemination program and store bulls’ semen as it could assist in flourishing their cattle production. The President also urged farmers to utilise Ramatlabama Artificial Insemination Training Centre to gain more knowledge on the programme.
Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Mr Molebatsi Molebatsi shared President Masisi’s sentiments that the programme will go a long way in ensuring food security and was one of the many remedies that would help to increase the animal herd.Improved animals, he said would translate into quality beef that would place the country’s beef industry on a better pedestal to compete globally and rake in much-needed revenue for development.
He thus implored the beneficiary to take good care of the animal and be benevolent enough to allow other farmers within the Tsetseku cattle post to benefit from it. Mr Molebatsi, also an MP for Mmadinare, gifted the bull’s beneficiary with a cattle trough.
Vision 2036 Commissioner General, Mr Christopher Molomo said the bull initiative resonated well with the national vision aspiration to reach high-income status. Attaining lofty heights, he said called all to support President Masisi visionary leadership.
Ms Kauhomonua, the first woman to be gifted a bull in the region promised to take care of the bull and allow other farmers to also benefit from its genetic prowess. The 52-year-old expressed gratitude to the President’s initiative which she believed would enrich many.
Another beneficiary Mr Motlapele, former safari guide thanked the President for the drive to improve cattle industry and also promised to take good care of the bull.
Despite challenges brought by predators and keeping cattle in a communal area where grazing was uncontrollable his cattle had since increased 108 from the 20 that he started with in 2009.
In Pelotshwana cattle post, 25km from Kareng, 31-year-old passionate farmer, Mr Mmatli Mosihe praised, Dr Masisi for making his dream come true. The young farmer received a Brahman bull to better the quality of his herd.
He could not hide his excitement noting that the bull came at the right time as he has been wishing to own a brahamn bull. He named it Kepeo hoping that it would improve his production so that he donate to other farmers in future.
Currently, he has over 60 mixed breeds and intends to increase his production and eventually become a commercial farmer. However, Mr Mosihe revealed in an interview that he was attracted to farming at the age of 13 when he used to accompany his grandfather to the cattle-post and that was when he developed passion for cattle farming.
His grandfather gave him one cow, which produced 12 calves one of which was female. Since he did not do well at senior secondary school, he sold four of his animals and enrolled for a professional guide course.
He worked in South Africa and Zimbabwe and came home during the COVID-19 pandemic to venture into cattle farming.
Speaking during the handing over of the bull, President Masisi expressed happiness that he donated to a ‘serious young farmer,’ adding that government was committed to empowering the youth to commercialise cattle farming.As the champion of Vision 2036, he said he wanted to empower all through bull donation so that others could appreciate that there were many ways of enriching themselves. “I started donating ten bulls from my farm and motivated my cabinet ministers to come on board and I am happy that politicians, farmers and senior government officials followed suit and supported my initiative. This one is coming from Mr John Motsumi,” he added.
Regarding Bovine-dermatophilosis disease commonly known as senkobo, President Masisi assured farmers that government would do all in its power to eradicate the disease.
He said the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Fidelis Molao recently launched a long acting Topline Dip aimed at controlling the disease and encouraged farmers to support government in its such efforts.
However, he warned farmers to handle the dip with caution noting that its use would be limited to the control of senkobo under the supervision of department of Veterinary Services. He noted that government had come up with a strategy to educate farmers on dipping because it was the most effective method for preventing high incidences of tick borne disease.
Ngami MP, Mr Caterpillar Hikuama thanked the government for empowering and boosting young farmers, saying donating the bull was bound to improve Mr Mosihe’sherd. The bull, he said was a huge investment that could produce good quality calves, which meant more money in the market.He appealed to young people to take farming seriously, noting that love, hard work and character make a successful farmer. Mr Hikuama further said farming was not just a way of life but it could create employment opportunities and eradicate poverty.
Source: Daily News