There is always great demand for milk throughout a year, and with a demand for Botswana to become more self sufficient, dairy farming in Botswana is growing fast. Due to the population increase and consumption of milk tremendously increasing day by day. Milk production in Botswana and SADC is expected to grow at about 3 to 4% every year. Dairy farming in Botswana is a lucrative and profitable venture.
Dairy Farming needs a specific skill set, total dedication, and closely supervising your farm constantly. You can start small and expand as you get more confident and have master all the skills of dairy farming.
Requirements for set up for Dairy Farming in Botswana
Land. You must have some cultivated land for growing fodder crops for your cattle. The land area and size depends on how many cows you will have. Generally, 2 acres of land is good grazing for up to 15 cows.
Shelter. There must be proper and covered secured shed, well ventilated and spacious shed is required for dairy farming. Hygienic conditions are very important and it is recommended to have 8 feet x 12 feet area for 1 cow. So total space required for 15 cows is about 120 feet x 12 feet.
Cow feeders should be constructed in between with a separation wall so that the cows can be fed from both sides in what is called as “Head-to-Head arrangement”.
Water. Clean and abundant water access is required for both cattle and to grow the green fodder as well as for drinking and cleaning the shed. Tanks can be installed overhead in the shed.
Fodder. Dairy cows require at least three basic types of fodder for give high milk yield with high fat content. It is vital to have good fodder or feed management, right from growing the feed to feeding the cows. Dry fodder, green fodder and feed concentrate are essential to feed dairy cows.
Breed Selection. You need to choose the right breeds of dairy cows to get the best milk from your farm. Popular breeds are “Jersy”, “Red Sindhi”, “Gir”, “Deoni”, “Holstein Friesian (HF cows)”, and “Sahiwal”.
Vaccination Scheduling. The general health of your animals and prevention by vaccine is vital. You need a proper schedule which should also include a veterinary doctor for routine check-up and medication of cows.
The Market. Find out what the shops and vendors in your area need, how much they sell in a given period, which times of the year are higher demand, and talk to other dairy farmers in your area about how they market their products. Think about coming together to supply bigger groups in bulk perhaps. Contracts for supply give you stability and a sure sale.
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