The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) this week revealed that it still plans to set up a dairy farm to curb milk shortages in Botswana. BDC Public Relations Officer (PRO), Boitshwarelo Lebang said this week that the Corporation has not abandoned the project, which it announced five years ago.
“We have not abandoned the project. It’s only that we are still looking for suitable land with adequate water to be used for irrigation of feed stock. Dairy farming needs a lot of feed stock, so we can only start the project after we have found a farm with adequate water in a foot and mouth free zone,” she said.
BDC announced plans to set up a dairy farm in 2010, when Botswana was hit by crippling milk shortages because of shortage of supplies from South Africa. At the time, the Corporation partnered with a South African dairy company and started plans to identify suitable land for the project. However, the project was derailed when targeted farms were found to be unsuitable as they did not have adequate underground water. The South African partners later withdrew their interest in the project. Over the years, Botswana has been heavily dependent on dairy supplies from South Africa, as numerous dairy projects that were set up in the country collapsed. Botswana’s annual milk demands stands at over 48 million litres, and only eight million or so is provided by local dairy farmers. One of the biggest impediments to dairy farming in Botswana is the high temperatures and incessant drought.