This chapter discusses agricultural sector and its contribution to the welfare of majority of people in the Kgatleng district. This chapter covers two sub sectors namely: crop production and forestry, and animal health and production. Agriculture as a sector is not only responsible for ensuring food security but also plays a role in provision of income, employment creation as well as investment opportunities in the district.
In line with the theme for Vision 2016, which calls for a sustainable and diversified economy through competitiveness in global markets, Kgatleng District will strive to be a prosperous, productive and innovative society in the field of agricultural production. A combination of its comparative advantage of close proximity to urban markets and good soils along the Notwane and Madikwe rivers will be the driving force leading to the realization of the district’s aspirations.
Within the Department of Crop Production and Forestry, delivery of extension services in land use planning, soil conservation, forestry and range ecology is geared towards the sustainable use of the natural resources to ensure that soil erosion, deforestation, desertification and gully formation is minimised.
The Department of Veterinary Services has sections responsible for disease control and animal production with their roles being prevention of livestock diseases and improvement in the quality of livestock
iii. Department of Cooperatives
The Department offers business advisory services and information to the public.
Through these Departments and Divisions, the district will develop on a sustainable and competitive basis the agricultural sector by improving farm incomes, generating employment opportunities and raw materials for agri-business; conserving agricultural natural resources through the promotion and adoption of appropriate technologies and management practices.
The vision for the Ministry is to have a society, that is vibrant, self-sustaining and a diversified economy. It will promote the use of technology product research, resources development and diversification. It will promote meaningful participation of Batswana in the economic life of their country by facilitating the acquisition of technical and other valid skills they need to get into business and remain in business. It will create a conducive environment for business, protect consumer rights and manage wildlife resources to meet local and global challenges.
The natural resources for wildlife population and habitat and their sustainable utilization have a direct bearing on the agricultural resources. The preparation of Kgatleng District Development Plan 6 takes into consideration the fact that livestock industry will not be affected by the conflict between livestock and wildlife for the scarce grazing resources or the threat of food and mouth disease from within the district. The wildlife species found in the district are said to be livestock tolerant hence co-exist.
Geared towards diversifying the economy the Ministry will create conservation awareness that will increase sensitivity to wildlife issues and lead to attitudinal change in support of wildlife conservation to ensure that healthy populations are maintained consistently. This will promote tourism locally and diversify the economy.
Ministry of Lands and Housing and Environment
The strategic plan key results area for the Ministry states that land allocation criteria will take into consideration land use efficiency and equitable distribution of land. The Ministry seeks to develop Land Board to enable them to effectively allocate and manage tribal land. The Ministry of Agriculture acts as a facilitator in management and development of land, therefore agricultural resources depend much on the land management which the MLHE has the statutory powers of the land resources in Botswana. Good land management and coordination will be crucial for achieving agricultural outputs for DDP 6 in the Kgatleng district.
7.1.3The Role of the Private Sector
Horticultural, dairy, beef production, poultry, and other agricultural activities in the District are mostly undertaken by private individuals, some of whom were funded through the FAP. These activities provide food to the communities in the District.
Agriculture Sector Consultation Priorities
The communities are concerned about lack of employment opportunities due to the fact that the performance of arable agriculture sector has been declining throughout the years, which is mainly due to persistent drought.
7.2National Policies and Legislation
7.2.1Community Based Strategy for Rural Development 1997
The Community Based Strategy for Rural Development was approved by the Rural Development Council in 1997. Its main aim is to improve rural livelihoods and reduce poverty in a more effective and sustainable way and consequently reduce dependence on government. Through the strategy communities are mobilised and encouraged to initiate and run projects of their own, thus creating opportunities for the inclusion of communities in management decisions.
7.2.2District Settlement Strategy
This relates to the provision of portable water, power, telecommunications and roads to the lands areas. It also involves the conservation of scarce agricultural resources for future generations consistent with the broader Agricultural Strategy.
7.2.3Convention on Combating Desertification 1992
Regarding conservation of agricultural resources, emphasis will be laid on capacity building and limited land rehabilitation program. A National Action Program (NAP) for Botswana which is a framework to combat desertification was produced under United Nations convention to Combat Desertification. Kgatleng district has no problem of desertification.
The forests and woodland of the country represent an important natural resources in terms of providing the majority of rural population with a wide range of benefits entailing supply of wood for energy, construction, building and craft, the supply of non-wood forest products such as honey, bee wax, fruits, medicine, fodder and habitat for wildlife and livestock and maintaining the environmental balance. Due to severe pressure from over exploitation and drought and fire the biggest challenge is to foster sustainable utilization of these resources to ensure a continuous flow of goods and services from these forests without irreversibly damaging their capacity to recover.
A new National Forest Policy providing an enabling framework for achieving conservation, sustainable management and development of forestry has been initiated. Its objective is to ensure an enhanced forestry activities to all sectors of the population now and in the future. All the Strategies and programmes for DDP 6 shall be pursued in accordance with the New Forest policy.
7.2.5National Policy on Agricultural Development 1991
This is a 1991 MOA policy that was designed to improve agricultural production. The fencing component of the Policy has an impact on the existing land resources as it lead to a major shift from communal grazing to commercial livestock rearing although in most potential areas development is still for below the expectations. Most potential farmers seem not to be ready to go into commercial ranching as their main concern is the size of the proposed ranches and not so much the management aspect of it. There is that latent fear that the policy might not achieve its intended aims of improving the livestock subsector and sustainable use of the grazing resources.
7.2.6Tribal Land Act 1968
This is a statutory legislation that provides the Land Board with authority to allocate communal land for various purposes including arable and pastoral farming. Some of the communal grazing and arable farms are used on leasehold basis such as the Tribal Land Grazing Policy. The National Master Plan for Arable Agriculture and Dairy Development is aimed at improving production in the land is suitable and is also allocated for agricultural purposes.
7.2.7Agricultural Resource Act
Its main aim is to ensure that natural resources are used on a sustainable basis with stock limitations on appropriate carrying capacity. It calls for public awareness on the danger of over-harvesting of veldt products, borrow material without rehabilitation, veldt fire and use of environmentally friendly technologies. It calls for the use of coal and other form of energy as opposed to cutting life trees.
7.2.8Botswana Rangeland Inventory and Management Project (BRIMP)
Botswana Rangeland Inventory and Management Project relates to the quarterly progress reports that are normally issued by the Range Ecology section of the MOA. It provides date on the status and condition of vegetation per district as well as the monthly and seasonal variation of rainfall amounts. This piece of information is very important in that it provides decision makers with guidelines on the coming growing season for agricultural purposes. The rainfall data indicates the availability of moisture for arable farming and the possibility of vegetation (grazing resources) improving.
7.2.9National Policy on Land Tenure
The policy seeks to vigorously enforce conservation acts in all grazing areas including communal areas, commercial grazing areas and state and freehold areas.