Government has decided to subsidise livestock feeds in the whole country by 50 percent effective Thursday this week to ease the effects of the severe drought on farmers.
Livestock feeds have all along been subsidised at 25 percent in the rest of the country and 35 percent in the foot and mouth prone areas such as Bobirwa and Ngamiland. The government’s decision to further increase the subsidy to 50 percent in the whole country was announced by the assistant minister of Agriculture Oreeditse Molebatsi who urged famers to take advantage of the government assistance which he said will be for a short time. “When the situation improves, the subsidy will be reverted back to the 25 percent and 30 percent,” he said.
The subsidised feed will be sold through the Livestock Advisory Centres (LAC) and Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) depots. “I have included the BAMB on the sale of the subsidised feed to enable all farmers to access the feed at the subsidised rates to save as many livestock as we can from perishing.” Molebatsi also announced that the Ministry of Agriculture has reconsidered its position to now assist farmers who cannot afford to row plant under the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD).
Government’s earlier position was that it would only assist farmers who can row plant only. “Farmers who are not able to row plant but broadcast will also be assisted but will be paid P400.00 per hectare up to five hectares as it used to be before the ISPAAD guidelines were reviewed. Those farmers who row plant will be paid as per the new guidelines for ploughing and planting at P800.00 and for harrowing at P360,” he said.