Former Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), board chairperson of the Botsile Gubago has said that there is a wrong belief in the country that there is a high demand for Botswana meat in Europe, which is not the case.
Gubago said this was one of the factors that saw BMC relying too much on the European Union market and doing badly when the EU has reservations about Botswana beef.
Gubago told the BMC parliamentary select committee on Tuesday that when he visited Britain during his tenure as a board chairperson, he realized that the Brits preferred buying local meat.
“It appears to me that we have for too long been comfortable as and dependent on the EU market while they actually did not did not demand for our meat.” He said BMC had a privilege selling to the EU considering that the UK buyers preferred meat from countries like Brazil and Australia, which had a much bigger weight.
He argued that as Botswana desperately searches for alternative markets to the extent of exporting live cattle; it is a recipe for further losses. “We will only be left as herd boys in Botswana as jobs will be exported. Exporting a raw material is as good as exporting potential jobs,” said Gubago.
He said Botswana has a good record of disease control as compared to other countries and that is what kept the EU buying from BMC.