Botswana livestock sector suffers under strain of El Niño-induced drought

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana is facing a serious challenge as its cattle herd is dwindling due to an El Niño-induced drought ravaging the southern African nation.

Agriculture Minister Fidelis  Molao said on Thursday that due to climate change, El Nino’s frequency has increased in recent years from once in about seven years to nearly every other year.

“Farmers risk losing their cattle during the dry season due to drought,” he warned.

According to a report by his ministry, the livestock sector, which contributes to the socio economic development of the rural community through creation of employment and income generation, is continuously threatened by frequent droughts due to climate change effects leading to low productivity.

“The government has resolved to increase the current 25 percent livestock drought subsidy to 35 percent from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 as a drought relief measure to safeguard its national genetic resources,” it said.

Botswana National Beef Producers Union secretary general Abel Modimo said drought needs to be addressed as matter of urgency.

“As farmers we regularly offer advice to government as well as submitting proposals on how to save industry from drought,” he said.


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