NEWSLETTER FOR FEBRUARY 2014
MEET OUR BOTSWANA BREEDERS: Bushra Kalahari Red
By Faheem Kala
This month we profile Bushra Kalahari Reds, Llara, South-East District:
Established in 2010, Bushra Kalahari Red Farms is run by local Botswana farmer, Faheem Kala. Originally a gift from his father with just 9 goats, 7 sheep & one Tswana dog on the farm, Bushra has since grown to become more than simply an enjoyable weekend hobby. “Bushra,” a name of Arabic origin, means “good news / glad tidings or good omen” and is typically an aspirational name given in the hopes of good fortune. With the reliance on agriculture within Botswana and the perceived promise of the land so strong, “Bushra” seemed only appropriate for a farm that would soon grow to embrace its true potential.
Today, the farm has grown considerably. Having earned a reputation in the local farming community as an honest and respected small stock holder, Bushra’s prized animals have since been entered into such prestigious agricultural shows as the Botswana National Agriculture Show. In 2013, Bushra Kalahari Reds won one first place and three second places and one fourth place at the show.
Bushra is slowly heading in the right direction to providing hardy quality goats for the Botswana market. Having followed his interest in, and indeed passion for, Kalahari Reds and Iles de France has seen Faheem explore different cross breeding avenues, today having bred Iles de France sheep crossed with white Dorpers, a hybrid that has proven popular amongst local customers. Having begun with a focus on boer goats, Bushra now primarily breeds Kalahari Reds, and is moving towards breeding with ‘top quality bloodlines’ and working with only the finest animals. Kalahari Reds in particular, have proven to cross excellently with the local Tswana breed, greatly improving the hybrid vigour.
The “good omen” has proven fortuitous indeed, with the aim of breeding resilient goats in a heartwater area in the future and a stronger focus on what is at present a part-time activity. This is especially as Botswana youth continue to evidence greater interest in farming, with an increase in Government schemes in place such as the Young Farmers Fund and the Limid scheme promoting further agricultural activity.
Having recently attended a number of agricultural platforms and visiting farmers all across Gauteng, North West and Limpopo provinces to learn about goats and farming, Faheem and Bushra Kalahari Reds are set for an even busier 2014. Faheem anticipates taking what started out as a mere gift to the next level, potentially working with other local farmers to form an association for Botswana and pushing the Kalahari Red breed even more.
Tholo Holdings / Fletcher Auction a success
A hallmark of the agricultural community calendar, the Tholo Holdings / Fletcher auction was held on Saturday 30th November 2013. The village of Gabane, on the outskirts of Gaborone, played host to the annual auction, with rams and ewes supplied by renowned SA breeder, Albie Horn, as well as Phillip Lombard, Lussim Boer Goats as well as several other local farmers.
With some of the finest animals on auction, those looking to buy a prized animal were in proverbial heaven. Kalahari Red rams were sold for an average of P6000.00, with the most expensive Kalahari Red ram bought for P9,240.00 by Faheem Kala of Bushra Kalahari Reds. The average price of goat rams on auction was P7000.00, with Geoffrey Pororo taking home the most expensive Boer Goat ram for P11,200.00.
Farmers in the market for Dorpers were spoiled for choice, with Dorper rams sold for an average of P5000.00, and Dorper ewes sold for an average of P4500.00. Freddie Rakwade took home the most expensive Dorper ram for P8,400.00. Mayor Mabayani and his son, OD, bought nine ewes for an average of P5,000.00 each. Father and son also purchased a Kalahari Red ram for P7,840.00.
The auction proved once more what a strong small livestock culture exists within greater Gaborone. All small stocks sold out and did very well when compared to bulls and cows, a testament to the growing small stock industry in the country. The Tholo Holdings / Fletcher auction has certainly set the mark for the next wave of auctions and agricultural shows in 2014, no doubt with even more prized purchases from local farmer.