Maun Botswana Meat Commission has since the beginning of this year slaughtered 800 cattle for domestic market, mainly in Gaborone, and cannery.
This was disclosed by BMC Public Relations Manager, Tiro Kganela who added that the abattoir had already reached its target of slaughtering 80 cattle per day and at times killed around five more than their target.
Kganela said that at times the abattoir fails to slaughter their target of 80 cattle per day on grounds that their current main supplier, West Haina Veldt farmers would not have sold the number that they had agreed upon on quota.
Concerning the market for their beef, he said that they currently sell most of it in Gaborone and can the rest as local butcheries are reluctant to buy from them preferring to slaughter for themselves.
“We have tried to market ourselves to local butcheries but they are reluctant to buy from us as they prefer to slaughter for themselves,” he said.
On their external markets, he said that Zimbabwe is still their major external market for live cattle but conceded that this market has had its difficulties concerning the paying for cattle received as at times there has been delays in paying for the cattle exported to them.
AS a result of that, he said that they are currently working on the basis of upfront payment for cattle.
“We hope this will do away with the current problem of failure to pay by Zimbabwean businesses,” he said.
On reports that the beef from the cattle they sell to Zimbabwe ends up in Chinese markets and why they do not sell directly to China, Kganela said that they do not have any knowledge of that.
“We absolutely know nothing about that happening but are currently still looking for market for our beef all over the world,” he said.
Reports that the beef from cattle here ends up in Chinese markets are allegedly made by truck drivers who transport cattle to Zimbabwe when asked why they delay in paying for cattle they have collected from Botswana. The drivers allegedly say that the problem is with Chinese companies who take long to pay for beef from Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe and China have cordial relations.