Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) aims to slaughter 200 000 cattle in 2014 as a way to meet its expanding export market.
The Commission’s Communications Manager Tiro Kganela this week revealed that although BMC has been slaughtering close to 200 000 cattle in the previous years, it is forced to increase its throughput this year since they have secured new export markets and are likely to see more markets this year. Kganela said that the commission, whose profitability had declined after losing the lucrative EU market, has managed to find its way back into several countries within the EU.
“We have also sealed a deal with Iran and we will be exporting beef to that market,” Kganela said, adding that BMC would also be selling to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and other Middle East countries which he said were lucrative markets which will surely return the commission back to profitability. Kganela said the BMC has launched an initiative aimed at getting more farmers to sell their cattle to the BMC.
“This is because we had a challenge of creating awareness to farmers on the importance of selling their cattle to us,” he said. BMC had last year closed all their district offices complaining of shortage of business and escalating operational costs that were fuelled by the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). However, a few district offices in places like Molepolole and a few others were opened towards the end of 2013. Kganela however said by the 13th of January this year, all other district offices nationwide would be opened to allow farmers to sell their cattle in the offices which is closer and cheaper transport wise.
BMC has since announced through their Direct Cattle Purchase (DCP) scheme that from the 13 of January this year, they will be in the areas of Ghanzi, Kgalagadi, Ngwaketse, Kweneng, Mahalapye and Kgatleng purchasing male cattle weighing from 200kilogrammes.
Currently BMC abattoirs are closed for maintenance in preparation for the export market. However the Lobatse and Maun abattoirs will open by January 20th while the Francistown plant will be operational by the 3rd of February.