Botswana, Rwanda to collaborate in agriculture

GABORONE, June 29 (Xinhua) — Botswana and Rwanda signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday for collaboration in agriculture, particular related to cattle and beef.

Botswana, with a strength of beef production and quality vaccines, hopes to learn more from Rwanda’s crop and dairy sectors while Rwanda looks to Botswana’s expertise required for sanitation and compliance with international standards in the meat sector.

Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s minister of agriculture and animal resources, who had accompanied President Paul Kagame on a two-day state visit to Botswana, said her country has expressed interest in purchasing livestock vaccines from Botswana, specifically Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccines.

“Botswana has done well in FMD eradication, but in Rwanda, this remains our biggest challenge, which has limited us from conducting international trade of live animals and beef,” she said.

Botswana wants to learn from Rwanda’s thriving dairy industry as Rwanda’s milk production has grown substantially over the years despite a drop in cattle population.

“Naturally, we are drawn towards Rwanda’s dairy production as we believe we can still resuscitate our own dairy industry,” said Fidelis Molao, Botswana’s minister of agricultural development and food security.

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