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Bots, EU Deal To Aid Ngami Farmers

The Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security in collaboration with European Union (EU) has launched a joint project that will support communal rangeland management and livestock trading in the Ngamiland District.

The P6.5 million worth project will be implemented by Conservation International (CI Botswana) over a three-year period.

Agriculture minister, Karabo Gare, said the community-based project comes at a crucial time when the country is experiencing the effects of Foot and Mouth Disease in the Ngamiland and Chobe districts.

“This will assist the country in improving the livelihoods of the people. Botswana has always strived to be compliant to the international standards such as world organisation of Animal Health and EU in order to trade internationally and access markets. Therefore, this initiative comes at a crucial time,” he said at the launch.

Gare added that through the Community Based Trade (CBT) farmers will benefit from improved market access, increased revenues and improved use of natural resources. For the leather value chain, the process will support farmers’ organisations, improving animal husbandry practices, which will lead to quality hides and skin that contribute to value chain.

This EU-Botswana cooperation project is part of the support from Team Europe; the EU and its Member States – to the Botswana Government’s Covid Response.

The EU once raised concerns

about Botswana’s beef following a inspection that indicated that there were deficiencies in official controls, traceability, abattoir operations and certification procedures. They argued that cattle should be kept for a minimum of 90 days before being slaughtered for EU export, the time during which they should not mix with other animals. In some instances, the animals should be kept in one grazing area for 40 days before slaughter, which the EU calls a 40/90 days residence principle.

By then they recommended that BMC should put in place documented procedures and relevant official controls in order to guarantee that only eligible animals are slaughtered for export to the EU.

As of last year, about 9,000 tonnes of Botswana Meat Commission’s (BMC) beef exports were sold in the lucrative EU market annually, of which 1,600 tonnes is sent to Norway under a quota arrangement. The second most important BMC market after the EU, is South Africa where the parastatal exports 14,000 tonnes of beef annually.

Other markets are Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Hong Kong, Thailand, Kuwait and Ghana.


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