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Livestock value chain/Botswana - Pig production gets government boost

19 October 2015

Botswana government is committed to supporting farmers with a positive mindset towards pig value chain. In this regard, government through the Ministry of Agriculture's Department of Animal Production set up a breeding facility to supply weaners and breeding stock to local pig farmers. The unit also serves as a demonstration farm. Pigs from the facility are sold to farmers at subsidized prices to encourage and promote pig production in Botswana. According to Sebele Pig Multiplication Unit Farm manager, local production in comparison to imports is a bit low, it stands at 419 tons compared to 445 tons imports. The manager encouraged aspiring pig farmers to venture into the industry given it is very easy to set up new enterprises since pigs do not demand a lot of land which is always a problem with new businesses. He disclosed that the market for pig products is also becoming open owing to increased demand for pork. This was revealed during the Gaborone Agriculture Show where smallholder farmers were informed on the benefits of Young Farmers Fund, a government youth empowerment programme aimed at assisting aspiring young farmers to set up or improve their agriculture projects and take advantage of available economic opportunities. However, farmers expressed further concerns on persisting difficulties with the pig value chain including disease outbreaks, lack of proper understanding of piggery and instability in feed prices. Farmers proposed a direct government funding for piggery and adequate supply of breeding stocks.



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