Farmers in the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) prone Ngamiland area now have every reason to smile as Angola embarks on a massive restocking exercise that is expected to open a huge market for the troubled red zone area.
Angola whose economy was left in disarray following a 26-year long civil war has gradually recuperated since 2002 and authorities are said to be looking at ways to revamp the agriculture sector. Apart from breeding purposes, Angola which has the largest army in Southern Africa with over 4000 Generals is also said to be looking at a constant supply of beef to feed its soldiers.
From September 20 to 25 an Angolan delegation is scheduled to visit Ngamiland to assess the potential supply of live cattle and meat products.
Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) Corporate Communications Manager, Tiro Kganela this week revealed that the anticipated visit follows a recent tour to Lubango in southern Angola by BMC’s Procurement Manager, Clive Marshall, where he met that country’s agriculture minister and other top officials at an agricultural show. “Marshal’s delegation had driven through the Mohembo border primarily to assess the road conditions to Lubango as that is likely to be route the exports will be channeled through. The Angolan delegation will comprise senior government officials and members of
the farming community. At a kgotla meeting last month, Botswana’s Ministry of Agriculture had acceded to demands by the local farming community to be included in the delegations that sought external markets,” he said.
Kganela said the15-person delegation will visit the abattoir in Maun as well as farms and communal livestock production areas in the region. Kganela said the Angolans recently expressed interest in purchasing life heifers for breeding purposes. “Following lengthy discussions on merits and demerits of selling-off live heifers, it was agreed that given Ngamiland’s precarious situation it would make economic sense to accede to the Angolan request,” he said.
Kganela said there were suggestions that the BMC, which will be charged with such transactions, should negotiate for a standard price for heifers instead of using weight of an individual animal as a determinate factor.