FMD return puts beef deal in limbo

Botswana beef continues to face challenges
Botswana beef continues to face challenges

MAUN: A mega deal for the sale of Botswana beef to Thailand is in limbo after a suspected outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease FMD) in Ngamiland. The beef is to be sourced from Ngamiland.

The Botswana Meat Commission Maun (BMC) abattoir plant manager, Mothobi Mothobi told Mmegi that they are on the verge of signing an agreement to export 460 tonnes of beef per week from Ngamiland to Thailand but the outbreak of FMD may scupper the deal.  

“This is a very big deal for us. So far Maun abattoir only produces 80 tonnes of beef weekly but we were still considering how we could benefit from this huge demand in Thailand,” he said.

Mothobi said there is a suspected resurgence of FMD in the district after two sick cattle bound for slaughter at Maun abattoir were discovered by veterinary officials at Kareng loading facility.

He said after the discovery, they are not sure if the envisaged deal will materialise. He said live cattle export to Zimbabwe have been halted due to the suspected FMD case.

He said they are still stuck with a batch of cattle, which were to be exported to Zimbabwe. “We find ourselves in a precarious position.

We have received an advance payment for sale of cattle to Cold Storage Company which buys cattle from us but now we cannot honour our part of the bargain due to this latest resurgence,” he told Mmegi.

He said they have been informed by veterinary officials to stop the export due to FMD outbreak. “We are now stuck with cattle which we have to feed,” he said.

Mothobi stated that they will be forced to slaughter the cattle at the Maun abattoir at a loss as they had procured them for export. “We have different prices for live cattle and local slaughter. We buy at P16 per kilogramme for the Zimbabwe market and P15 per kilogramme for the local market.”

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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