The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) said it is flexing its financial muscle to prop-up milk production in the country in an attempt to reduce the cost of foreign exchange losses resulting from dependence on other countries.
Despite having one of the largest herd of cattle per capita, Botswana imports 90 percent of its milk and dairy production from other countriesÔÇömainly South Africa.
The new scheme was launched last year and will cover both existing and aspiring dairy farmers, according to the spokesperson for BDC, Gomolemo Zimona.
It is mainly aimed at both new and existing farmers with viable business propositions both locals and foreigners.
He said the response they have received so far “ has been satisfactory” without giving more details.
Those venturing into the business, he further explained, will be assisted by financing loan, equity and invoice discounting.
This project has since been made into a popular advertisement which is run in both electronic and print media in the country. Botswana, which depends on South Africa for all its dairy demands, is expected to experience serious shortages of the product next year when South Africa will be hosting the prestigious world cup games.
Some observers are saying that this is yet another example that the government has neglected the agriculture sector in the country.
This, according to one observer who requested anonymity, if anything is a very disappointing thing that a country which has been independent for over 40 years could still be importing milk.
“This is nothing short of a disaster and a very big disappointment that a country such as ours could still be importing milk after all these years of independence,” he said.