Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) have announced it will pay farmers an extra P3 per kg for every animal they sell.
The move, which amounts to a 9.4 percent increment, means farmers now receive P35 per kilogram – a welcome development as the local farmring community have long complained of the poor prices offered by the commission.
Announcing the price hike this week, Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Fidelis Molao explained it was designed to mitigate the effects of the country’s on-going drought.
“By selling, farmers will also be reducing the risks of losing their cattle during the dry season as we are all alive to the fact that the government has pronounced this year as drought stricken,” said the newly appointed minister, who took over following the sacking of Patrick Ralotsia last month.
Speaking on the issue, BMC Acting CEO, Dr Boitumelo Mogome-Maseko explained that for the EU market this represents an increase of 9 percent while for other markets it signifies a 13 percent increase.
“In Maun it is going to be an increase of 15 percent. I would like to encourage the farmers to take advantage of this opportunity, use it and make sure that they send their cattle to BMC,” urged Mogome, noting farmers could use the proceeds from the sale of cattle to help feed their remaining animals.
For their part, Botswana National Beef Producers Union (BNBPU) described the move as a positive development.
Speaking to Voice Money, the Union’s Secretary General, Abel Modimo says although BMC has some serious financial issues, at least they have heeded farmers’ call.
“At the moment we are not sure what effect it will bring, but this is what we have been talking with government about, at least they have listened,” said Modimo, adding he was hopeful the privatisation of BMC would help the commission overcome its troubles.