The Botswana government has decided to allow exports of live cattle as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of a devastating drought.
Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson, Boikhutso Rabasha, said the government has agreed to allow farmers to export live cattle for slaughter until the end of March 2020.
“Each farmer is allowed to export a maximum of 30 percent of his or her total herd. This decision is meant to assist farmers to avert possible loss of cattle due to severe impact of drought,” Rabasha said on Friday, 13 September 2019.
She said application forms for export can be obtained from the Department of Animal Production countrywide.
“To apply for an export permit, farmers should provide the following; a veterinary import permit from the country of destination and proof of livestock ownership,” the official said.
Rabasha added that the livestock census results from the Botswana Animal and Traceability System would be used to confirm the number of livestock owned by each farmer.
The government has since announced a 35 percent subsidy on livestock feed and supplements, an initiative running from June 2019 to 30 June 2020.
Meanwhile, the Botswana National Beef Producers Union said it plans to request an extension of the livestock subsidy until after the end of drought period.
Union secretary, Abel Modimo, said after their recent meeting with farmers, a resolution was taken to initiate a meeting with the government as farmers believe that the drought situation would worsen.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Wildlife, Thato Raphaka, recently reported that the current drought has severely affected livestock and wildlife in the north-western part of Botswana, around Lake Ngami that is located about 1 000 kilometres from the capital Gaborone.
He revealed that thousands of animals have died in the region due to the drought.