Farmers in the beef industry have been challenged to embrace new technologies to enhance farming efficiencies and productivity in the cattle-rearing sector.
Officially opening the 2012 Letsema II consultative conference on the role of stakeholders in beef industry in Francistown on Tuesday, Agriculture minister Christiaan De Graaff said although expensive, technology could boost agricultural output in Botswana.
“Sustained growth in beef industry is dependent upon stakeholders’ investments in research and development to generate technologies that would ensure the viability and sustainability of the industry and the whole agricultural sector,” he said.
De Graaff said the demand for food continues to grow as the population increases, saying this increased demand will have to be met chiefly through a greater productivity of agricultural lands already in use as there is little potential for expansion of the farmland area.
Thus, farmers have to find innovative ways to maximize the productive capacity and efficacy of the agricultural sector’s farmland, he said. Ephraim Maiketso, the mayor of the City of Francistown, said in order to achieve food security in its fullest, both the government and farmers must invest tirelessly in the efforts that will create an environment conducive for industry to realize profits. He then called for farmers to be equipped with skills on weaner production as well as feedlots.