The reintroduction of game farming has increased fears of poaching in the Tsabong region by syndicates who operate with their South African counterparts.Wildlife tourism contributes significantly to improved economic landscape in the Tsabong region but poaching can affect the economy and cause the endangered wildlife species to become extinct.Although poaching has declined nationally over the past few years, according to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, it would still be insensible to drop the guard as poachers can pounce any time.The disarmament of anti-poaching unit personnel has been cited as the main factor to the recorded poaching incidents. The country reportedly lost 126 animals between 2018 and 2021, with 33 rhino poaching incidents recorded in 2022.Kgalagadi South Member of Parliament Samuel Brooks said that it is imperative for game farmers to unite in the fight against wildlife poaching and the increasing cross-border crime in Kgalagadi district."In recent times we saw how poaching was becoming rampant in the district hence the need to devise new strategies to curb the problem. Millions of Pulas are lost each year to poachers who smuggle trophies to neighbouringSouth Africa, leaving local communities impoverished, and so it is critical for game farmers to come up with solutions to assist government security personnel and wildlife officers."Tsabong lies adjacent to the Kalahari Transfontier Park (KTP). It is a desert area with vast areas of sand, stone and hot climatic conditions. Sparsely populated, it is busy at times as a stopover between neighbouring Namibia and South Africa. The village is largely a farming community and that is what generally sustains its economy.Tshepo Kamane, a farmer in the village, noted that save for the Covid-19 period, the farming industry has been doing well."We have seen improved animal farming and wildlife conservation efforts. We are adopting human-wildlife co-existence well and many locals are finding ways to eke a living from farming but also protecting their game from wildlife attacks."He said now is the time for collaboration and he encouraged farmers in the area to invest in developing their farms, learn from and acquire knowledge from other experienced game farmers and share resources, which are sometimes limited or far stretched."It is important to share water and work collectively to develop each other’s farms for improved economic prosperity where everyone can benefit," he said. It is equally important to invest in security as farms are a fertile ground for poachers.Local community participation in wildlife tourism and conservation projects is still significantly low and sometimes positive economic benefits of wildlife tourism are not seen by the entire community hence the need to implement community conservancies, Kamane noted.Wildlife officer Charles Motime said that wildlife resource in the Tsabong area can contribute positively to national income, and this justifies government investment in the sector. He pointed out that if good mechanisms are put in place, the sector could be economically efficient, and contribute significantly to Botswana's economic development in the long-term.“Wildlife uses need to be fully developed in ways that maximise their economic contributions. We need more engagement with experts to find ways of using wildlife parks and game farming to benefit the area economically while also prioritising wildlife conservation.“The hunting quotas help. Game farming and hunting have economic benefits but key conservation is also critical to ensure that wildlife is not lost in high numbers and natural resources eroded," he said.Kamane said that non-consumptive tourism on high-quality wildlife land will give the greatest economic returns, and should get priority. He also noted that for the Tsabong area which depicts great potential, safari hunting, community-based wildlife use and limited intensive ostrich and crocodile production should also be given priority for investment. He also noted that "commercial livestock ranching is not an economic threat, but traditional livestock keeping is."The natural ecosystem in Tsabong is characterised by inherent climatic uncertainty, particularly rainfall variability, and consequently exhibits low and highly variable biomass productivity, and as a result, wildlife and extensive pastoral-based livelihoods have evolved over time as an adaptation to this ‘marginal’ environment, and fewer alternative land use systems, if any, can claim to be more economically efficient and environmentally sustainable. There are also prevalent wildlife conservation projects alongside the human settlements.According to information from the Department of Wildlife in the area, wildlife tourism has contributed to employment creation and economic development in Tsabong and wildlife tourism has increased the community’s sense of pride because of their culture and preservation of local culture due to wildlife tourism sourced from national parks and eco-tourism parks.However, the introduction of game farming has improved conditions for many farmers in the Tsabong area and many are excited, not only at the chance to keep wildlife but to also go into game meat farming and sales.