Logistical problems such as the absence of own cold storage facilities as well as problems in road transport are limiting the amount of beef Botswana Meat Commission can export to countries such as Angola, the commission said this week. When asked if their campaign to find alternative markets to the EU for the country’s beef has borne any results, BMC Public Relations Manager Tiro Kganela indicated that not as yet.
In the case of Zambia, he said they have a problem because the Zambian market requires them to export whole quarters as opposed to boxed beef. Outside the continent, Kganela said attempts to access the Iran market were made difficult by their specific requirements for beef derieved from young animals reared on veldt, as producers could not supply to this specification. Kganela also said BMC has plans to expand to new markets in Mozambique and Hong Kong. He added that beef from EU eligible cattle has a market readily available in European countries such as Norway and Italy. He indicated that in 2014 the commission plans to access other markets such as Sweden and Denmark.
“We have found a new market for beef that is not eligible for the EU market, especially beef from younger cattle not more than 30 months old. We plan to grow our market in Angola, and access relatively new ones such as Mozambique and Hong Kong,” said Kganela.
On when they plan to start selling to their new found markets, Kganela said their 2014 sales plan requires them to send a number of consignments to newly identified markets, and their longer term plan is to scale up sales volumes to such countries.
He further revealed that in the past financial year a total of 128,718 cattle were slaughtered. Of these, Lobatse abattoir slaughtered 78,949, followed by Francistown abattoir which slaughtered 38,033 and lastly Maun abattoir which managed only 13,658. Botswana also exported 522 live cattle to Zimbabwe. The sale of cattle to Zimbabwe has since ceased because the Zimbabwean government has not released import licenses to the company that imports cattle from Botswana.