Less than a month after┬ávisiting┬áHainaveld┬á farms in Ngamiland, Angolans are reported to be placing orders with the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) for heifers for a period of between 18 and 24 months.
The BMC confirmed the orders.
“I can confirm that we have started receiving orders for heifers from Angola and we are excited about it,” said Botswana Meat Commission Public Relations Officer, Tiro Kganela.
He said that, having received the orders, they are now awaiting┬áimport permits from Angola to see what┬á their animal health requirements are┬ábefore they can start┬á trading.
He also said that they are working closely with the country’s embassies in Namibia and Zambia in order to visit┬á the Katango Province in the Democratic┬á Republic of Congo┬á with the view ┬áto opening negotiations with them on the sale of live cattle from Ngamiland.
Kganela said talks are┬á currently underway┬á with their Namibian and Angolan counterparts┬áin the Caprivi┬á transit protocols, which will make it possible to move cattle into┬áAngola and┬á DRC from Mohembo.
On the price tag farmers in Ngamiland┬áwill get for their heifers, Kganela said that it was difficult┬áto say how much the heifers┬áwill be bought for, adding that it will depend on numerous factors, such as┬á veterinary┬áand transit┬áduties.
He, however, said, as BMC, they are confident that once trade relations ┬áhad developed, breeding stock prices will be comparable┬á to those of cattle from the European Union.
Kganela said that the BMC was very eager to find markets for cattle from Ngamiland┬á because they are worried that the┬á region is currently overstocked, which can turn into a time bomb┬á unless the stock┬ádensity is reduced. He also said that they are looking at possibilities of creating┬áa long term market for the cattle in red zones┬áthrough possibilities of starting┬ájoint ventures in neighbouring countries and sending cattle to those countries’ feedlots┬á on condition the BMC retained shareholding in such entities.
Kganela also disclosed that they are still pursuing┬ámarket opportunities for live┬á cattle in Zimbabwe and that they are currently in discussion with some Zimbabwean entities.
Sale of live cattle to Zimbabwe┬á was stopped early this year after┬á failure by that country’s business to service their debts.
A member of the Hainaveld Farmers Association, Phillip Wright, recently expressed delight at the prospect of┬ábeing able to sell their cattle to Angola, saying that this would once again create interest in cattle farming in Ngamiland┬á whose farmers had not been able to sell their cattle for years┬á because of┬á outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease.