Growing up in a family of farmers motivated Motheo Monthe to go into commercial farming and make a living out of it.
Monthe who holds a degree in project and logistics from University of Botswana (UB) said that his parents, who are into horticultural farming on a large scale, had an impact on him becoming a commercial farmer.
“I have been a farmer my whole life, and have been practising it since my parents have been passionate about farming. We grew tomatoes, cabbage and green pepper. I was also responsible for the marketing, designing and packaging of my parents’ produce which I still do now,” he said.
After completion of his studies, Monthe decided not to join the corporate world, but make money out of something he is passionate about.
He then borrowed three milk cows from his parents to venture into diary farming production.
“It was about five years ago when I started diary farming. It was a risk which I took after realising a gap in the market,” he said.
While the road was not rosy, his determination helped him to attain his dream as currently he has a total herd of 60, with 32 females in production.
Currently, Botswana is still faced with a deficit in milk production as it stood at 6.2 million litres in 2017 representing a significant 55% increase from the four million
Monthe said that he produces 80 litres per day from 10 cows, a number he intends to double.
He said that his cows are not producing enough milk, as they are not fed well, noting that he struggles to get rye grass, which he feeds the cows. But he is not giving up, as he has managed to contract another young farmer who produces feed, hoping this will boost his production.
Monthe is supplementing his feeds with silage as well, which is a mixture of corn and forage sorghum.
“After being rejected from benefiting from the Youth Development Fund twice noting that my project was not viable, I did not give up. Instead I got inspired to realise my dream and I am proud that slowly but surely results of my hard work are paying off.
I have even created employment for at least five locals and plan to increase the number once I increase the production,” he said.
Monthe highlighted the importance of government in meeting young farmers half way by providing training to farmers.
The passionate young farmer, shared his dream of producing yoghurt as currently he produces only sour milk and fresh milk which he sells to the public.