Saturday, August 13, 2022

Gov’t moves to improve district agric shows

Government has made a commitment to improve district agricultural shows, with a view to ensuring that animals that are exhibited at district level are of the same quality and value as those exhibited at national fairs.

“While district fairs were initially organised and managed at ministerial level, we have decided that they should be organized at district level”, said Dr Marcus Chimbombi, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Chimbombi said the decision to transfer roles was taken to enable stakeholders at district level to be actively involved in preparations for the agricultural shows.

Farmer and Businessman Emang Maphanyane expressed concern that the Ministry has neglected the district agriculture shows to the extent that exhibition grounds and stalls are unsafe for animals.
“Imagine someone bringing their much valued bull to the show, with the hope of fetching a good price for it, only to return with an injured beast,” he said.

Chimbombi acknowledged the situation, adding that they have been in negotiations with Debswana regarding possible revamping of the infrastructure at the districts. He however would not commit himself pending consent from Debswana.

He said they approached Debswana in 2008 to seek funds that would enable rotating agricultural shows, so that the exhibitions take place in different districts every year. However, this was found to be impracticable.

One was major reason was that ease of business operations would be facilitated by access to offices and banks all of which are situated in major towns.

“The ideal option would be to improve the district shows and increase participation of the private sector and financial institutions. At the same time, such a decision will create unnecessary complaints as some farmers might not be able to participate regularly if it proves costly for them. They would rather plan to improve the quality of their animals based on consistent projections,” commented one farmer.

Yet, as if to give credence to the farmers concerns that the districts are neglected, the anti rift valley vaccine procured by Government will only be sold at Livestock Advisory Centers(LACs) in the southern parts of the country. They are situated at GoodHope, Ramotswa, Mochudi and Molepolole and Lobatse.

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