Govt consider Nokaneng quarantine centre for Ngamiland cattle
Known as a place where life is created, Nokaneng Animal Insemination Centre could soon have a closer association with death – at least for half of the year.
The centre is being considered as a quarantine facility for cattle destined for the slaughterhouse during the rainy season.
However, responding to a question from Gumare/Tubu councillor, Mpoke Karapo, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Resources stressed the venue would only be used in summer.
This is because, during the dry season, the area is commonly infected with a killer plant, the poisonous Dichapetalum cymosum (Mogau or Ggifblaar), which is fatal to cattle when ingested.
“Nokaneng on its own would be unable to service the high cattle population of the surrounding area due to its small size, aggravated by the fact that 50 percent of the area is infested with a lethal poisonous plant, making grazing there impossible in winter so that overgrazing of the rest becomes inevitable,” highlighted the Ministry, through its Department of Veterinary Services.
For years, politicians and farmers have called for a cattle quarantine camp in Nokaneng to service parts of Ngamiland for cattle heading to Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) in Maun for slaughter.
Currently, the district boasts a solitary centre where all farmers keep their cattle under mandatory quarantine before selling to BMC.
Councillor Karapo is adamant introducing a second location will make selling cattle to the BMC easier and more attractive to farmers, with Nokaneng the obvious choice because of its central location.
“Makalamabedi is far from farmers in this far end and Nokaneng is more central,” he pointed out.