Lack of finance to support to the ostrich industry is the main stumbling block against the growth of the industry in the country.
This was said by Ministry of Agriculture Acting Chief Scientific officer Geofrey Balogi when asked if they were satisfied with the growth of the industry.
Balogi says as it is at the moment the only assistance these farmers get from the government is training of farmers as well as selling chicks to those who would like to go into the industry and nothing which leaves out the important issue of finance for such farmers.
Institutions such as Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency which was supposed to help such farmers he said appears to be not helping as much as it was expected to do.
“CEDA unfortunately appears not to be helping as much as was expected from it unfortunately,” he said.
Asked what they are doing about the problem, he said that there is not much they can do besides just encouraging people to go into the business.
For her part, CEDA Public Relations Officer Anno Tshipa said that they are doing as much as possible to help citizens of this country to venture into business but that what is important is that people should come to them with business plans that shows that the business is viable if it is not, there is no way they could be assisted financially.
“This is our policy and does not discriminate according to business criteria. Business plans viability is very important to us whether its ostrich, cattle or whatever business. Only those with viable business proposals are assisted,” she said.
This follows after the Managing Director of Quality Beef Jaco de Villers said that they have not been receiving enough birds at the Multi Purpose Abattoir where they slaughter ostriches.
He said that in the last four months they have only received 72 birds for slaughter in the abattoir but that they expect to slaughter reasonable numbers starting from February.
“We hope to start slaughtering reasonable numbers next month if things go according to plans,” he said. Talana farms are currently the only ones supplying the abattoir with birds.
A lot of ostrich farmers in the past went out of business after the then Gaborone Ostrich Abattoir close for similar reasons of lack of birds to slaughter. This left many farmers with debts that they are still battling to pay. The current abattoir slaughters not only ostriches but cattle as well.