Zim and Angola markets stalled indefinitely
Beef exports from the Maun abattoir have been suspended after the newly established Angolan and Zimbabwean markets were temporarily frozen due to transportation and protocol logistics.
Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale this week told a media briefing in Lobatse that the commission had resorted to canning the meat as an alternative for safe exportation.
“The problem is that the price for the cooked meat will be much higher than that of fresh meat and that is one of the challenges we’re faced with,” he said.
In December last year BMC announced, much to the joy of farmers in Ngamiland, that they had established new markets in Angola and Zimbabwe for their cattle.
In less than two months the excitement was short lived after the Namibian government, where the animals were being carried through to Angola complained of a possible FMD contamination.
“We had thought that we had made some progress but there was a challenge because we had to transport the animals through the Caprivi which is a green zone in Namibia,”
Tombale said and added that they were still in discussions with concerned parties to establish an alternative route.
The BMC boss said the commission was in the countdown of the mandatory 21 days required for the observation of cattle before the next consignment can be delivered to Zimbabwe.
“We’re still in negotiations with the Zimbabweans to come to a workable export solution.
Last time we sold them the cattle we had a problem getting the payment from them and when we met them for another export deal we made an arrangement that they should make the payment upfront.
To their credit they did that but unfortunately the protocols of government caught us as we were given an export permit that required that the cattle needed to be kept under observation for 21 days,” he said
Tombale said the Zimbabwean government has already paid for 800 herds of cattle and that BMC was considering animals in Ngamiland and the Zone 7 in the Bobirwa area.
He said the exercise would have started on January 28 had it not been for the 21-day requirement.