The Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) has undertaken to boost agro-production in the Ngamiland and Boteti farming areas, as they are key to the revitalization of Botswana’s meat industry.
Speaking in Maun last week, SEZA Acting Director of Policy & Planning, Jayson Sechele said Ngamiland and Boteti have some of the largest populations of cattle, goats, and sheep in the country and are therefore key contributors to Botswana’s meat industry.
“Ngamiland and Boteti account for a combined 22.6 percent and 15.1 percent of the national cattle and small stock production respectively,” he said.
Currently, independent abattoirs are slaughtering cattle from Ngamiland and Boteti to supply the local market and export to countries like Gabon, Mozambique, Kuwait, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
SEZA has identified the two areas as livestock and small stock clusters that will feed into the Lobatse Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
The Authority also intends to boost agro-production in the area through interventions such as infrastructure development and breed improvement.
“There is no doubt that Ngamiland and Boteti are strong contributors to Botswana’s meat industry and must be revitalized to diversify the economy, increase export revenue and facilitate further beneficiation. There are also opportunities for Batswana to exploit the whole agriculture value chain by providing services like transport, fodder production, and animal husbandry,” said Sechele.
Ngamiland and Boteti will feed into the Lobatse meat and leather special economic zone, as Botswana moves towards exploiting the national meat industry value chain.
Livestock hides from Ngamiland and Boteti can be further processed into handbags and shoes at the Lobatse leather park.
The SEZ Act No. 13 of 2015 empowers the Authority to cluster business enterprises to achieve inter-sectoral linkages and economies of agglomeration.