The Ministry of Agriculture is struggling to restock the cattle it slaughtered to control foot and mouth disease in Mmadinare and North East two years ago and is asking cattle farmers in all foot and mouth free areas to sell them cattle.
Initially, the MOA had intended to buy cattle from Zone 8 (Serowe ) and 9, which is Palapye area, but shortage of the beasts has made them to spread their net wider.
“We now want farmers in other areas of the country to sell cattle to our Ministry for restocking purposes,” said Principal Public Relations officer in MOA, Geoffrey Pheko.
He said that they want a total of 21,000 cattle, adding that Mmadinare area needs 1,500 cattle whilst North East will get 20,000.
Asked why he thinks farmers in areas they have targeted to buy cattle for restocking from were not selling as many cattle as they had expected, Pheko said that it could be that they prefer selling to the Botswana Meat Commission rather than to them.
“They have a choice of selling to whoever they want to sell to,” he said but declined to say whether or not farmers were discouraged by their buying prices which stand at P2,500 for heifers of between two and four years or cows that have calved once or twice and P3,500 for bulls of same age group.
Farmers wishing to sell their cattle can make requests at the nearest MoA offices in their areas.
In the past, when restocking Ngamiland after all its cattle were slaughtered to contain lung disease, the government ended up buying some cattle in Namibia as there were not enough cattle available locally.