Botswana Graduate Aims High in Pig Farming Amid Pandemic


Elton Mphinyane, a young graduatein Botswana venturing into pig farming, has faced challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic because tourists used to buy some of his produce, and consumption has decreased. However, because of the high cost of production, the farmer urged the government to assist farmers with subsidies. 

“It has had a negative impact on my business because clients now want to buy it on the cheap,” the farmer said.

Mphinyane added, “Other farmers purchase pigs from outside the country at a lower cost. I’d like our government to support us locally, to buy our product.”

Once he receives funding, Lebopo Elton intends to expand his business by constructing an enormous structure to house 200 to 300 pigs. He also advised those considering a career in farming to work hard, be wise, and be driven by a strong desire to succeed.

Elton has been applying for the Youth Development Fund for the past six years to help fund the expansion of his business, but all in vain, he receives no response and does not give up.

After struggling to find work after graduation, Lebopo Elton Mphinyane started farming after realizing how profitable the venture would be. The 30-year-old now owns a farm in Molongwane, approximately 25 kilometers north of Gaborone, Botswana’s capital city.

Lebopo Elton stated, “I’ve always had a passion for farming since I was a child, and after graduating from school in Accounting and Finance, I struggled to find work.” 

As a start, Lebopo borrowed 30,000 pula (approximately $2,656) from his family and purchased pigs, which he later sold every three months to supplement his income, and invested in feeds and structure. He expanded his farming business to a commercial level by selling to local butcheries and large retail stores, packing and distributing pork to individuals.

According to Lebopo, an eight-month-old pig could be sold for around 3,500 Pula and 3 kg of pork slices for 200 Pula. He added, “The market for pig products exists, but the challenge is the mindset of potential clients, who frequently do not understand the value of pigs and want to pay every little amount, which could make his venture unprofitable given the investment he makes and the high cost of feed.”

He concluded that “Pig farming in the southern African country has the potential to create jobs for young people who are interested in farming but aren’t solely concerned with profits.”


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