The Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) will endeavour to boost small stock production in the Kgalagadi district, with a view to supporting the Lobatse Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and the Tsabong multi-species abattoir.
This was said by Jayson Sechele- Acting Director of Policy and Planning at SEZA during a tour of the construction site of the Tsabong multi species abattoir last week. At peak, the abattoir will be able to slaughter 300 goats and sheep per day, mostly for export to Europe and the Middle East. SEZA perceives Kgalagadi as an important small stock farming cluster that is key to the success of the Lobatse SEZ.
“Kgalagadi accounts for 17 percent of the national small stock production. It is important for SEZA to ensure that existing agriculture support programs are fully utilised to increase production, boost exports and feed the Lobatse SEZ with meat and hides,” said Sechele.
Lobatse has been zoned as a meat and leather SEZ that specialises in beneficiation of red and white meat; leather processing; dairy and bio-gas production.
The P161.7 million multi-species abattoir is strategically placed to take advantage of the high small stock population in the Kgalagadi area. President Mokgweetsi Masisi has previously revealed that Botswana has identified lucrative markets in the Middle East for the export of mutton, lamb, chevon and game meat.
Apart from ramping up production, Botswana farmers will also be faced with the daunting task of complying with international market requirements by registering their holdings to ensure that their livestock are traceable. Farmers will also have to register their small stock under the Botswana Animal Traceability System (BAITS). Concerns have been raised about the ability of Batswana to comply with export market demands as most of them keep their animals in communal areas, with no traceability. Diminishing small stock populations have also raised doubts as to whether local farmers will be able to adequately supply the multi species abattoir.