The Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development Programme does not discriminate against married women by disqualifying them from benefiting from small stock projects.
A liberal country with conservative and cultural beliefs, the Botswana government embraces in and out of community of property marriage.
The two practices however seem to come into conflict over the allocation of benefits.
While those couples married in community of property are not benefiting from the services afforded by LIMID, out of community couples acquire goats, sheep and other related small stock.
“LIMID does not discriminate against married women by disqualifying them from benefiting from small stock projects. All the LIMID packages are implemented according to the guidelines which consider couples married in community of property as one for the purpose of assistance under the programme,” said the assistant minister of agriculture, Oreeditse Molebatsi, this week in parliament.
He added: “Therefore married couples (women and men) are treated as one and hence if one has been assisted the other will not be assisted.”
The in community of property married women are made even worse by the inhabitants’ traditional beliefs which allow men full control over almost family matters.
As women are relegated to small family chores, their men call all the shots over the herds as the head of the family, disadvantaging women over the programme.
One of the main Agricultural Support Schemes, LIMID was introduced in recent years as a means to promote food security through improved productivity of livestock in a country dependent on imports from neighbourong countries, particularly South Africa.
The programme focuses on animal husbandry and fodder support, water development, cooperative poultry abattoirs for small scale poultry producers, small stock, guinea fowl and Tswana chickens among others.
The support is reserved only for citizens.