The Botswana dairy industry produces about seven million litres of milk annually, while more than 53 million litres will be imported in 2020/21. This created numerous investment opportunities for the South African dairy industry.
This was according to Letsomo Mariri, chief scientific officer at the Department of Animal Production in Botswana, who said the national milk demand in that country was about
65 million litres, with local production meeting about 11% of this. This indicated that 89% of liquid milk was imported, and the bulk of it came from South Africa.
These figures emerged during a webinar on the opportunities in Botswana’s dairy industry, hosted by Farmer’s Weekly, in partnership with the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre and the Botswana Ministry of Agriculture Development and Food Security.
“In 2020/21, the national dairy herd was estimated to be 3 704 [head of] cattle, with 1 225 of these being milking cows,” Mariri said.
He added that the country aimed to increase production to more than 65 million litres, which would require a herd of around 10 000 cows.
There were several challenges facing the dairy industry in that country, which included a shortage of dairy cattle; recurrent droughts; disease outbreaks; and a lack of appropriate infrastructure, Mariri explained.
The national dairy herd could be increased by employing assisted reproductive technologies such as embryo transfer and artificial insemination, along with the importation of cattle, he said.
According to Mariri, the ultimate aim of the Department of Animal Production was to have a well-functioning dairy value chain by developing strategic dairy farming areas, fodder production zones, dairy support infrastructure across the country, and increasing the national dairy herd both in number and in the variety of breeds.
This followed a dairy value chain study conducted in 2015, with the main recommendations being to establish a national dairy production and marketing organisation and increase the domestic consumption of processed dairy products.
The main investment opportunities for South Africans, according to Mariri, were for farmers to establish dairy operations for milk production, while there was also a need for heifers and production of silage.
He added that setting up processing plants for milk and dairy products also presented opportunities for investors.
Meanwhile, Botswana High Commissioner to South Africa Tshenolo Modise spoke about the need for Botswana to ramp up its agricultural production and grow the entire sector, including the dairy industry.
To enquire further about investing in Botswana, please contact Bobo Senosi (director international: South Africa): 011 884 8959 | 083 595 3735 | [email protected]
DOWNLOAD WEBINAR PRESENTATIONS
- Doing business with Botswana – Malebogo Morakaladi
- Overview of the dairy subsector in Botswana – Letsomo Mariri
- ABSA Agriculture Credit Lending – Valerie Molaodi
Webinar: Investment opportunities in Botswana’s dairy sector