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Jun 8, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

National Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NARDI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Department of Animal Production officially launched the, “experimental infrastructure for finishing the smallstock for the market” today in Lobu (Kgalagadi District).
When delivering keynote address the Deputy Permanent Secretary-Corporate Services Ms Tiny Diswaii said that, NARDI is mandated to transform the agricultural sector and NARDI’s presence at Lobu is one of the actions NARDI is implementing towards this transformation. She shared that the livestock sub-sector contributes significantly to the socio-economic development of the rural economy as it creates employment, is a source of food and income and lastly provides raw materials for the development of goods and services.
Ms Diswaii said that, “according to the Agricultural Annual Census of 2015-2017 there were a total of 58 596 goat’s holdings in the traditional sector and 13 154 sheep holdings in the same sector, however, the mortality rates of both sheep and goats were high 15.9% and 22.9% respectively with a low offtake of 4.1% and 7.3% for sheep and goats respectively. The same survey indicated that there is a total of 1.233 220 goats and 242 600 sheep, that being the case, disease outbreaks, continued droughts, parasitic outbreaks as predisposed by climate change and poor livestock management practices are a threat to the small-stock industry; therefore, calls for strategies to support the sub-sector to be able to withstand the shocks”.
She highlighted that in response to the above challenges, which includes low offtake, reduced growth rates, reduced live weight gain in preparation of animals for slaughter and with the ultimate goal of creating and functionalizing value chain linkages and promote market access by all farmers, NARDI saw the need to evaluate the growth performance of various goat genotypes under intensive feeding systems and develop technologies that could assist farmers to produce high carcass yield and supply good-quality chevon and mutton to the consumers.
The key project objective is to increase competitiveness of smallstock at the market through finisher diets based on locally available feed resources. If finishing is done properly, it enables animals to reach market weights faster and at an early age and also improves the meat quality.
Furthermore, this technology is expected to reduce the input costs of raising a goat for slaughter. The project will take 3 months from the inception date, following which a report will be composed and shared with all stakeholders, and farmers will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and improve their small stock revenues. Through this Batswana could feed themselves and be the front runners in preparing for the available markets in the Middle East.
Ms Diswaii strongly urged the researchers that the results from these experiments and projects should be translated into appropriate technologies which would benefit farmers and improve the agricultural economy. The NARDI Acting Board Chairman Dr Mbatshi Mazwiduma gave the overview of NARDI emphasising its strategic drive of developing needs driven research and the importance of engaging the farmers in research at an early stage.
The event resumed with the tour of Lobu ranch led By Lobu Station Manager Mr Balogi and the maiden NARDI smallstock finishing experimental site led by Dr Raphaka.
Lobu is a government ranch that aims to promote production of best genetics in smallstock. This facility provides an opportunity to all the value chain players in the small-stock sub-sector to network, share knowledge, experiences and get the best genetic materials through auction sales. It further encourages the participation of women in the agricultural sector and appreciates their contribution to the rural and national economies.
The event was graced by Kgosi from Khuis Mr Bothata Botsheleng and other dikgosi from the surrounding villages, the District Commission representative Ms Maleshoane Segakisa, NARDI Board Members and the Executive Management and staff members, the District Agricultural Coordinator Ms Ikgopoleng Shabane and MoA staff members, many more village leadership and the farmers.


Jun 8, 2023
8:00 am - 5:00 pm