Botswana’s commercial agriculture sector is still young and in a fast-developing phase, which means the country still has to develop its primary and secondary agriculture sectors. The Botswana government has identified agriculture as an area of strategic importance and as the sector with the best prospects for future development. The government is therefore seeking to attract private investment to grow the commercial farming sector and create employment opportunities for rural people.
BOTSWANA MUST INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND DIVERSIFY COMMODITY PRODUCTION TO ALTER THE TRADE IMBALANCE.
To this end, it has established a number of special economic zones, including the 50 000ha Pandamatenga dryland crop production area; beef and dairy in the Lobatse area, with the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) export abattoir based there; the Selebi Phikwe irrigation scheme, fed by the Letsibogo and Shashe dams and focusing on citrus and vegetable production; and the Zambezi Integrated Agro-Commercial Development Project in northern Botswana, which will be a huge, commercial-scale irrigation project on 20 000ha.
However, according to a report published by the US Department of Agriculture, the development of a modern cattle farming and slaughter industry in Botswana is limited by the government’s monopoly on meat processing plants, exports and livestock prices, as well as the occurrence of foot-and-mouth disease in the north-eastern part of the country.
BOTSWANA’S FARMING CHALLENGES
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Taking the sting out of the drought
Living through long periods of minimal rainfall has become a way of life for many farmers in various parts of South Africa. Brett Walker, who farms mixed livestock in the Eastern Cape, spoke to Glenneis Kriel about the various ways in which he alleviates the impact of the ongoing seven-year drought in the region.
The basics of bull management
The money-maker in the herd is the bull, says eastern Free State Simbra breeder Rick Dell. He spoke to Annelie Coleman about the management and selection of breeding bulls for commercial cattle herds.
Living the organic farming fantasy in the Western Cape Winelands
Following the rebuilding of Tulbagh after the 1969 earthquake, Brian Berkman has discovered that this historic town is experiencing yet another revival with trendy art galleries and farm-to-table dining.
Benefits of irrigating with wastewater
A recent study by Dr James Meyer, a private consultant, and Dr Rian Pierneef, a researcher in bioinformatics at the Agricultural Research Council’s Biotechnology Platform, found that wastewater from piggeries significantly increased the microbial diversity of soil. Pieter Dempsey spoke to the researchers.
The pros and cons of drip irrigation
Drip irrigation saves water and electricity, but is not suitable for all crop types. So make sure you end up with the right system, says Bill Kerr.
Groote Post: channelling a crisis into an opportunity
In 2020, South Africa’s wine industry encountered an unusual challenge: a ban on the sale of alcohol as part of the fight against COVID-19. This crisis spurred Groote Post, a family-run wine farm outside Darling, to blend its Internet savvy and tourism offerings with its tradition of winemaking and selling. The farm’s Nick and Peter Pentz spoke to Jeandre van der Walt.
How composting works
Composting speeds up the natural decay of organic material by providing the ideal conditions for detritus-eating organisms to thrive. The result is nutrient-rich soil that helps plants grow.
A formula for successful fynbos production
Nico Thuynsma’s love for all things floral and horticultural, and fynbos in particular, led him to establish a nursery and cut flower operation in the Cullinan area of Gauteng, where he produces proteas and other types of fynbos. Pieter Dempsey spoke to him about his passion for growing these plants.
A charming countryside guest house
Ellas in Greyton offers exceptional food, lovely views and wonderful hospitality, says Brian Berkman.
Over-irrigating costs you money in terms of water and electricity, and may lower your crops’ potential. Under-irrigating is also detrimental. Learn to irrigate properly and at the optimal time, says Bill Kerr.
With cruises that visit South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, CroisiEurope shows off the best that land and water have to offer.
WHERE THE LION ROARS
FLYING WITH MACK AIR IN BOTSWANA
Finestar Jewellery & Diamonds Pvt Ltd A Shining success Story
Finestar Jewellery & Diamonds Pvt Ltd began under the visionary leadership and able guidance of Vinod Jain, since then the company is growing by leaps and bounds and today is one of the frontrunners in the industry
Finding himself at a crossroads between an intuitive process and market demands, Peter Mabeo is not one to conform. Here, he speaks to identity about the challenges of navigating the world of design and carving his own path.
Discover how to photograph amazing wildlife no matter where you live, as pro Tom Mason shares his comprehensive tips and tricks
Natural fish traps in the Okavango
Life Along The Limpopo
The Limpopo River is South Africa’s border with Botswana for about 500km. It’s also a lifeline for farmers and wildlife, and for the deep roots of ancient trees. Join us as we follow one WhatsApp message to the next, from Steenbokpan to Pontdrift.
Jewels from Paris Haute Couture Week 2021 Jewels for Keeps
High jewellery houses from Place Vendome have pulled all stops to create pieces that are simply works of art
Fears for rare white lion as price to hunt them falls by £20K
A RIVER, A MONSTER AND RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
An innovative Gambian initiative, several decades in the making, is at last ready to emerge from its long incubation, turning cryptozoology into currency.