Wednesday, January 27, 2021

BMC and the Ngamiland farmers’ slowdown….

The North West District Council has reported that to date, Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) has slaughtered 6,349 animals compared to 10,990 animals in the same period last year.

According to NWDC Chairman Duncan Enga, a total of 532 farmers have sold their livestock to BMC and only 386 of those farmers were paid P7million as at 23rd August 2018, leaving 145 farmers stranded to the tune of P1,7million by the Commission.

“This shows that BMC throughput is lower than the previous year due to reasons amongst them delayed payments to the farmers after slaughter, making farmers reluctant to sell their animals to the BMC,” he said.

1135tons of meat worth P27million has been sold mostly to the green zone (the greater Gaborone) and a few in the Ngamiland and Kasanae market during this year. Furthermore, only a total of 183 tons of beef was exported to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In private abattoirs, a total of 4,057 cattle were slaughtered at Batawana and Ngami Abbatoirs situated in the pheriphery of Maun with a total of 123.06 tonnes of meat exported locally at Gaborone and Kasanae while, 126.551 was exported to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

BMC which has been suffering losses and failing to meet its obligation in paying farmers who supply it with livestock, recently took a decision to put its Francistown abattoir under care and maintenance after realising that it has been underutilised and milking on the government coffers.

The Minister of Agriculture Patrick Ralotsia recently also admitted that, delayed payment to their clientele is also a contributory factor but there are quite a number of other factors. Amongst other factors he mentioned the issue of prices, which he arguably said that BMC in this country is the best payer by far besides the fact that it is currently going through delays in paying farmers.

On the other hand, from the NWDC, measles continue to be a big problem averaging eight percent of the total slaughter, just last year a total of 23 animals were condemned and 1276 carcases were detained and treated for measles. Council Chairman, Enga revealed that, since January this year over 500 carcases were detained and six condemned for measles.

In order to reduce measles prevalence, the department of agriculture in partnership with UNDP SLM project purchased a total of 2000 de-worming tablets for measles and they were handed over to the farming community of Lake Ngami cluster villages.

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