30 June, 2020

Hi everyone, I am Kagiso Gabafediwe, a BUAN graduate holding a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree which I acquired in 2018. After completing my studies, my skills improved, my network broadened and I gained a better understanding of business acumen after taking part in the BUAN-LEA Agriprenuer programme, which is designed to cultivate agricultural entrepreneurship in BUAN graduates. I got to be part of the programme in 2019 with my partner Thatayaone Keatlholetswe who shortly left the project after a few months. We got selected to do the Pig feedlotting project housed at the BUAN piggery site. At the start of this project we got 38 weaners and had a single mortality. It takes 5 months for a pig to reach a porker stage of about 60kg, 7 months to be a baconer of around 80 kg and lastly 10 months to be a sausage of over 100kg. It takes a lot of patience, dedication and hard work to run a piggery. I bathe them thrice a week and feed them daily. They are like my babies, and I would like to give them names, the only problem is they all look alike and I can’t tell them apart, haha!! I sell both breeding stock, carcasses and packaged meat. Since joining this programme, I have bought and improved weaners from farmers around Gaborone. I supply butcheries and individuals with quality premium pork and I do not intend to stop anytime soon. Currently I'm housing 39 porkers which will be ready for the market at the end of June and beyond. I operate under the business name Bantaro Porkers, which I registered with CIPA in 2019. Agripreneur has positively sparked my passion in piggery production and introduced me to a community of passionate farmers and a dedicated young individual by the name of Bryan Maeze who assist me from time to time with my project and at the same time challenges me to better myself. The benefits of pork industry, the constant need to sensitize and feed the nation fuels my passion. There is no success without challenges! Sometimes due to inferior genetics, diseases and being a rant, pigs may take longer to mature which brings in challenges of feeding as the feeds are expensive. The other challenges that I encounter include lack of proper husbandry by farmers who supply me with weaners; overpricing of weaners; poor record keeping which is vital for feedlotting; the recent pandemic outbreak which halted my operations and most importantly the market setting prices have forced us the producers to sell at break even. I have personally experienced minimum disease outbreaks since I became a pork producer. Despite the challenges and shortcomings I was able to manoeuvre through and develop as an Agripreneur. BUAN has done a lot in producing highly skilled and qualified Agripreneurs like me and I confidently applaud the University. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage aspiring Agripreneurs, small scale farmers and the pig industry at large to strive for excellence and aim beyond limitations. If anyone has a gap in knowledge and skills in agriculture and natural resources, do not despair, BUAN through the CICE offers such short courses to elevate your success!
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