During the period of 2016/2017 Botswana only produced 417.2 tons against the demand of 1500 tons, production figures supplied by the ministry responsible for food security has shown.
Geoffrey Pheko, Public relation Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture Food and security says the country continues to fail to meet its demand for pork thus forced to import from neighbouring countries.
While the failure has been linked to high feed prices as well as shortage of slaughter houses in the country, an unorganised market has also been identified amongst factors that add to the shortage in supply of pork.
To tackle the challenges Pheko says the ministry has deployed extension officers around the country so that they could train pigs’ farmers and give them necessary advice on pig farming.
The officers have also been mandated to teach farmers on the importance of forming associations which could act as their mouth piece to both the government and businesses. Pheko further said that the government has taken a decision to regulate the amount of pork that could be imported into the country to promote local production and also encourage farmers to form clusters to enable them to buy pigs feeds at a cheaper price from neighbouring countries. The provision he explained is not limited to clusters only as individuals can also benefit from it.
The government is said to be breeding pigs at Sebele Pigs Multiplication Unit which they sell to emerging farmers and those already in production at subsidised prices to encourage pig farming.
On funding, Pheko says his ministry is assisting farmers to source funds from financial institutions such as CEDA and Youth Development Fund.