Beef union demands tighter FMD controls

cattle in the kraal
cattle in the kraal

FRANCISTOWN: Spokesperson of the Botswana National Beef Producers Union (BNBPU), Andrew Seeletso, has urged the government to strengthen Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) control measures so that all farmers in the country can benefit from the newly introduced Thuo Letlotlo.

Thuo Letlotlo is a government 'flagship' programme expected to launch during the 2024–2025 financial year. Minister of Finance Peggy Serame, while presenting the budget for the 2024–2025 fiscal year, stated that the intervention would catalyse the country’s animal production sector by increasing the national herd. Additionally, it aims to enable Batswana to leverage the government's artificial insemination programme to enhance the quality of breeding stock nationwide. Concerns arise that without comprehensive FMD mitigation measures, farmers in FMD-prone areas such as the North East District might struggle to enjoy the benefits of farming initiatives and incentives driven by the government, including Thuo Letlotlo.

Seeletso highlighted the union’s concerns about the impact of FMD on government agricultural initiatives, particularly the upcoming Thuo Letlotlo, in an interview this week. He reiterated to The Monitor that FMD poses a significant challenge to farmers aiming for sustainability, potentially demoralising them from engaging in initiatives like Thuo Letlotlo.

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