In his endeavour to empower local farmers, Botswanan President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, has donated a high breed buck [goat] to a 36-year-old farmer, Joseph Murangi, to help him enhance his small stock farming and develop into a commercial farmer.
This adds to numerous farmers who have also benefited from the president’s benevolence to his people as a way of empowering them to boost livestock production in the country.
Murangi, who farms in Kgantsang, received the buck on Saturday at his Modern Way Goat Farm located 10 kilometres away from the Maun along the Ghazni road.
Taking advantage of the Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID) Programme of the Botswanan Government, Murangi has been raising a good number of goats and sheep with the number of his stock currently at 38 sheep and 60 goats.
LIMID Programme is a project composed of animal husbandry and fodder support, water development, cooperative poultry abattoirs for small-scale poultry producers, small stock, guinea fowl and Tswana chickens for Botswana citizens.
Speaking during the handover, Masisi, according to state-owned media, Botswana Daily News, encouraged Murangi to remain steadfast as the donation was meant to help him rise into a renowned commercial farmer and to eventually expand into supporting others.
The news platform also reported that Massi was impressed by Murangi’s taking advantage of different government initiatives such as LIMID, the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development (ISPAAD), and Youth Development Fund (YDF) to develop his farming enterprise.
Explaining Murangi’s farming experience, Dr Ramosamo Rancheke from the Department of Agriculture said the youthful farmer grew up in a family passionate about agriculture and started small stock farming at 22.
After an unsuccessful attempt at beekeeping, Murangi was said to have applied for the LIMID programme in 2010. The programme supported him with 10 goats and sheep which he was able to breed and multiply.
The farmer, however, faced a serious setback in 2017 when his livestock was affected by a stable fly (lethobo) outbreak, reducing his stock to 15 animals.
Murangi later applied for the Youth Development Fund (YDF), a socio-economic programme for start-ups and expanding businesses. Through the initiative, he was said to have been funded with up to P100 000, a fund he used to restock his farm and also invest in developing it.
In 2017 and 2018, Murangi fenced his farm through funds obtained from ISPAAD to enable him to buy a hammer mill machinery. In addition, he was reported to have ventured into horticulture production.
While receiving the gift, Murangi appreciated the president for the gesture, adding that he had always wanted to own his own high breed to expand his herd.
In related news, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has also donated a buck to Ms Dipuo Nkwe of Moologe lands in the Kgatleng District.
When presenting the gift, President Masisi said the objective of the initiative was to drive the Vision 2036 pillars, whose core values are known to Batswana as they were created with love, tranquility, peace and in good faith.
“As the Vision 2036 champion, I am bringing my responsibilities to you and your family. I wish you love, wealth and prosperity. Accept my gift wholeheartedly,” he said.
Dr Masisi urged the beneficiary to take care of the buck and ensure that it multiplied and that with time, as her animals multiply, she must share with others, so that they could also benefit from the initiative.
For his part, MP for Kgatleng East, who is also Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Mabuse Pule applauded the President for driving his strategy as the Vision 2036 champion, despite the challenges that he faced on a daily basis.
When receiving the donation, the beneficiary expressed appreciation to the President, saying she had always been longing for a buck, to help her flock grow.
Ms Nkwe said she received 12 does and one buck from the LIMID programme, as a start-up in 2012. She said the goats had since multiplied, enabling her to sell some to LIMID, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, and Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs as well as individuals.
She encouraged other farmers to be patient, as there were a number of challenges in animal production.
Meanwhile, Booster Mogapi reports that still on Wednesday October 14, President Masisi also donated a Boer goat buck to 33-year-old Mr Lucky Dintsi of Nkowe lands near Malolwane in the Kgatleng District.
President Masisi said the initiative was meant to challenge Batswana to take small stock production seriously, to improve their lives and feed the nation.
He said as Vision 2036 calls on all to participate in the enhancement of the economy and improving the lives of Batswana, he, as its champion, had to lead by example.
He encouraged farmers across the country to take advantage of the early rains to produce better yields.
The beneficiary, Mr Dintsi said he was overjoyed as the President had shown fatherly love to him as he needed the buck to increase his stock, adding that he appreciated the gift and would forever be grateful as the buck would surely change his life.
He cited shortage of water as a serious challenge to his dream of small stock production and asked to be assisted with a borehole.
The deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Ms Nancy Chengeta said the ministry was also on the path of reviving small stock production in Botswana.
She said small stock was a diamond that, if persuade with passion, could change the lives of many Batswana.
Ms Chengeta said the ministry would support the young farmer by taking him for training at Lubu Farm, saying the exposure would help him understand small stock production better.
When giving a brief overview of Mr Dintsi’s project, Kgatleng District agricultural coordinator, Mr Andrew Boipopi, said the project was funded in 2013 with 13 does and a buck.
He said Mr Dintsi had done well, despite the challenges that come with rearing small stock such as diseases and loss of young ones.
Mr Boipopi said the beneficiary had already supplied 18 goats to LIMID in 2017, bought a vehicle to bowse water and de-bushed three hectares of his farm, adding that the office was pleased with his commitment.
When giving a vote of thanks, the area Member of Parliament and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Mabuse Pule said the President was leading by example, adding that the initiative would surely change lives.
Mr Pule said indeed lack of water was a challenge in the area as farmers had to fetch water from Madikwe River.