Government is in the process of setting up a regulatory authority which will oversee the sale of meat.
According to the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatization Agency (PEEPA) CEO, Obakeng Moumakwa, the bill to establish the meat regulator is currently being processed.
“The meat regulator was informed by the decision of the government to liberalize the markets. Having decided that the market is going to be liberalised, we foresee a situation where there is going to be a lot of entities out there who would want to export beef,” Moumakwa said recently.
He explained the authority will not only target the beef industry but all meat products.
“Once we start regulating beef we foresee ourselves in due course coming with regulations which will be regulating any other meats,” highlighted Moumakwa.
As part of liberalising the beef industry and meat industry, government has also taken a decision to privatise Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), a move that will result in repealing the old Act which imposed monopoly on BMC.
Last week, the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security, together with PEEPA, paraded consultants that have been engaged to develop a strategy and transaction plan to guide BMC privatisation.
Part of the strategy will see the Maun abattoir separated from the Lobatse and Francistown enterprises, with the view of engaging a concessionaire to operate it.
Minchin and Kelly advisory firm has been appointed to oversee the whole process and has been given a period of 10 weeks to complete their work.
According to Moumakwa, what will follow is the registration of BMC as a limited liability company under the Companies Act.
Deloitte Consulting has been engaged as the preferred company to facilitate the transaction of BMC privatization.
The PEEPA CEO further revealed a privatization strategy would be developed, which will provide various options of how BMC could be privatized. It will also implement the optimal privatisation method after approval by cabinet.
While such transformations usually result in loss of jobs, Permanent Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, Jimmy Opelo promised there would be no redundancies.
He emphasised that the after the privatisation is complete, the Commission will remain in the hands of the citizens.
Over the years, farmers have called on government to privatise BMC, citing factors such as delays in payment as well as general inefficiency, which they attributed to the way the commission was run.
However, in February last year, a decision was taken to privatise BMC, sparking a series of consultative meetings by PEEPA with stakeholders, including farmers themselves.