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Botswana College of Agriculture
Private Bag 0027
Gaborone, Botswana
Phone: +267 - 3650100
Fax: +267 - 3928753
www . bca . bw
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University of Botswana
NFTRC
Botswana Government

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The Department of Animal Science Production is made up of five units, Animal Clinic, Diagnostic Lab, Field Lab, Nutritional Lab and Student Enterprise Project



Preamble

More than 90% of the landmass in Botswana is classified as rangeland. Rangelands account for all beef production (about 80% and around 20% on communal and commercial rangelands, respectively) in the country. Trends in both livestock numbers and rangeland production show that cattle numbers are on the decline and small stock and equine (donkeys in particular) are increasing while rangeland productivity is declining. The decline in cattle numbers is attributed to poor management, the results of which are frequently accelerated by drought. Sheep and goats, though wholly dependent on natural rangelands are less sensitive to rangeland degradation due to their morphological adaptations that allow them to forage more selectively than cattle.

  • Sustainable grazing management in rangelands

Rangelands are a house of natural resources in Botswana. They provide almost all the food for domestic animals as well as being habitat to all wildlife. The rangelands are often misused due to high number of animals or inappropriate grazing management. Information on appropriate stocking rate and grazing systems for each rangeland is lacking in most of Botswana.

  • Assessment of rangeland factors

Productivity of rangelands is determined by a variety of factors such as rainfall, temperature, season, soil, elevation, vegetation and industrial emissions. An understanding of the effects of these factors on the productivity of rangelands is essential managing rangelands.

  • Restoration of degraded rangelands

The productivity of rangelands in Botswana and other arid and sub-arid regions has been lowered by degradation. Investigation in restoration of these rangelands is essential to improve their productivity. Bush encroachment is one indicator of rangeland degradation. This is usually due to exclusion of fire and sufficient number of browsers. Use of fire and browsers can prove beneficial under this situation. Under degraded condition soil fertility is reduced. Addition of inorganic or organic fertilizers may improve the rangelands, especially in areas of optimum rainfall.

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An Associate Institution of the University of Botswana established through Act of Parliament No. 9 of 1991