Land Based Training is a signatory to the Code of Practice for International Students. We continue to work with Education New Zealand in developing our International portfolio targeting linkages with countries such as China, Uruguay, Botswana and Europe.
In early 2014 Land Based Training was awarded, through a tender process, a contract with the Ministry Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to establish a Beef Training Initiative in Botswana over a three-year period. The main aim of this contract is to increase productivity and profitability to the Botswana Beef Industry. In February 2014, our Operations Manager and Head Agriculture Tutor flew to Botswana to complete the scoping mission. Training has since been developed and is delivered in various localities throughout Botswana.
The specific problem to be addressed is the low and declining productivity within the Botswana beef cattle industry. This is contributed to by poor traditional management practices which are more prevalent in the communal sector which typically farms on un-fenced rangeland with limited water sources for stock.
Low productivity rates contribute to rural poverty and deter young people from investing in the beef industry, contributing to the increase in urban migration. Low productivity also leads to over-stocking which in turn contributes to environmental resource degradation.
The Beef Productivity Training and Extension Support project aims to lift the productivity of the communal sub-sector through technical assistance by way of a modular training program. The project design was developed with the active engagement and involvement of many people in the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), as well as others in both the private and public sectors, to address a relatively weak link in the current beef industry supply chain, and to target improvement of beef industry performance and farmer returns from cattle production at the initial step in the beef value chain.
Training started in January 2015 and ran through until June 2017. The training program was extended due to its success and is still currently running in 2021 with restrictions due to COVID. Over the timeframe of this mission to date over 500 people have been trained. As the New Zealand mission team wound down its involvement due to COVID, the Botswana MoA has taken ownership and has replicated the program first developed in the Southern District program, to the other nine Districts in Botswana.