Home News Botswana amends its agricultural policy to encourage local participation in Agritourism

Botswana amends its agricultural policy to encourage local participation in Agritourism

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There are concerns that cases of wildlife poaching in Botswana could increase, following the government’s decision to allow game farming on land that has no security or fencing to control the movement of wild animals.

In its bid to encourage local participation in agritourism, the government has amended its agricultural policy to allow arable and livestock farmers to keep wildlife on their farms.

Following the amendment, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks announced the donation of “start-up wildlife stock” to farmers who decided to venture into farming of species such as impala, gemsbok, zebra, eland and warthog.

According to a recent statement by the department, the animals would become farmers’ property after successful breeding and donating offspring equivalent to the number of animals initially received as breeding stock to other authorised farmers.

The Director of PATH, a wildlife conservation organisation operating in Botswana, Pieter Kat, said the initiative might not benefit small farmers and warned that it could encourage an increase in cases of poaching in the country due to a lack of fences.

Kat said, “Animals that jump, such as eland, needed to be contained by fences of up to 2,4m in height. For digging animals like warthog, fences need to be reinforced low down and even underground. No such requirements are listed for Botswana. Anyone with a large landholding can now come and collect their start-up wildlife stock.”