Critical review of the ostrich industry in Botswana
This review highlighted the performance of Botswana’s commercial ostrich industry. Botswana has the world’s largest population of wild ostriches, estimated to be approximately 75, 000. However, commercial ostrich production is still in its infancy despite the ideal climate and the existence of an ostrich abattoir, which was constructed by the government in 2002 to support the industry. The abattoir has the capacity to slaughter 20, 000 ostriches per year but has lacked throughput since its inception resulting in frequent closures that contributed to the collapse of majority of small-scale projects. The present review showed that the industry has not grown over
time. The major constraints in commercial ostrich production include inter alia, frequent closures of the abattoir, lack of access to credit and poor extension service. Despite these challenges, opportunities still exist including availability of market (locally and internationally) for ostrich meat
and skins, as well as strong government support. To revive the industry, vertical integration (contract farming) and increased government support such as feed subsidies are suggested.
Keywords: abattoir, Botswana, meat, ostrich, ratites, skins