AGRICULTURE

Goats in the old Kalahari

The leader of BBKTA, Kgosi Nyalala Pilane
The leader of BBKTA, Kgosi Nyalala Pilane

The community goat farming project in Dwaarsberg in the Kalahari is well on its way and will empower the community by ensuring that there are sustainable commercial agricultural activities for the Batswana people living in the region.

The Bakgatla Ba Kgafela Traditional Authority (BBKTA) in Moruleng, in the North West Province, started the Red Kalahari Goat Project as one of the projects that will empower the community by ensuring that there are commercial agricultural activities that take place within the community.

The  BBKTA consists of about 350 000 people residing in 32 villages on the border of Botswana and South Africa.

The leader of BBKTA, Kgosi Nyalala Pilane, says the current priority of the project is to utilise available resources and land to make available employment opportunities to Bakgatla, which provides full effect of the BBKTA master plan.

“Using land optimally in provision of jobs and improving lives of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela community. The Goat Farm Project is set to farm products indigenous to the area and provide an opportunity to improve livestock or farming activities indigenous to the BBK Community,” says Pilane. 

Currently the farm has 346 goats, of which 256 are Red Kalahari goats, 20 Saanen Milk goats that are not more than two years old and are all expectant (all of which are expected to produce a minimum of two kids each). The farm also owns one of the twin rams that was sold for R120 000 in the Red Kalahari championships.

“The BBKTA has outlined that two more phases will be implemented. The first phase entails Goat Meat Management Training and the second phase of the project will be the milking parlour, where 20 Saanen milk goats are expected to contribute in the production of dairy products. The roll out of these phases will require training of a number of individuals to perform various tasks. At the completion of the training, people will receive certification and accreditation of the skills acquired.

“BBKTA has employed the South African Agricultural Initiative (SAAI) to present an agricultural strategy for the farm and signed a service level agreement for technical advisory service and execution of various agricultural projects that will be initiated at Dwaarsberg.

“The project will sustain and contribute to development as well as enhance the skills and training amongst Bakgatla,” concludes Pilane. 

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