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Botswana Farmers Set to Diversify their Activities to include Keeping Small Game 

In a bid to boost agro-tourism, the Botswana government is offering wildlife start-up stock to farmers to keep in their ploughing fields. The government says the move will give locals an improved stake in the lucrative tourism sector. Botswana’s National Parks and Wildlife director, Kabelo Senyatso, said the government will run a pilot project between February and July this year, where farmers will receive start up stock. Each farmer will get five animals per species, Senyatso said. He said farmers must meet certain water, fencing and space requirements depending on the species they want to keep. According to requirements, game keepers must ensure there is adequate fodder and reliable water supply. The fence height should be between 1.5 and 2.4 meters depending on the species kept. In announcing the initiative in 2020, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said it was one of the ways to revive a tourism sector hard hit by COVID-19. Botswana is one of Africa’s leading tourism destinations, with the sector contributing 13% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.