Botswana: Okavango FMD, Locust Challenges Under Control

Maun — Recent Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks and African Migratory Locust infestation experienced in some areas of the Okavango Sub-district are under control.

This was revealed by Assistant Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Ms Beauty Manake when addressing a North West District full council meeting on Tuesday.

The district experienced locust invasion in the Habu and Seronga areas while FMD outbreaks were confirmed at Nxamasera extension and Xakao areas.

Ms Manake explained that the outbreaks needed urgent attention to prevent locust spreading to other districts thereby frustrating farmers’ efforts to improve food security while FMD would have negatively affected the beef industry.

“We had to intensify control measures to fight the locust more so that ploughing season has commenced as well as contain FMD in the affected areas,” she added.

Stressing that outbreaks could only be defeated through concerted efforts, Ms Manake appealed to political leaders to mobilise communities to join forces with government to overcome challenges in the region.

She called for 100 per cent animal vaccination during FMD campaigns as well as reporting of locust movement.

Ms Manake also appealed to farmers to take care of their cattle for easy location during vaccination campaigns.

She said some farmers were undermining the ministry’s efforts as they failed to bring all their cattle for vaccination.