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Botswana would soon import at least 400 goats from neighbouring Namibia to make up for a nationwide shortage of animals required to support the Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development (LIMID) programme.

LIMID is a government-driven poverty eradication programme centred on supporting livestock farmers through the provision of help in animal husbandry, fodder support, water development, poultry and poultry abattoir development, small stock (sheep and goat) production as well as chicken and guinea fowl farming.

Animal production department head Bakang Keinyatse said the government decided to import the goats from Namibia after being overwhelmed with applications from citizens who wanted to join the goat rearing component of the poverty eradication programme.

He said the goats would be imported from Namibia and delivered to a government quarantine facility where they will be subjected to health checks and observation prior to delivery to the beneficiaries. He said the government was busy renovating the quarantine farms and deliveries would begin as soon the work is over.

However, he did not give the total number of goats that would be bought from Namibia and whether the import deal covered the duration of the 10-year lifespan of the national poverty eradication programme.

Some farmers opposed to the importation of Namibian goats have dismissed assertions that there is a local shortage of goats.

Instead, they said farmers were reluctant to sell to government because at P700 (R931,40) per goat, the buying price was too low.

They have since called for a price increase of up to P1,000 a goat to entice farmers to sell. Local councillors said the farmers were also reluctant to sell to the government because the payments were often delayed by bureaucracy.

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