The embattled Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) is rising from the ashes and has resolved to strengthen its cash flow following tough competitive market from local butcheries.
The cash trapped parastatal faced a number of problems which management responded to by coming up with an economical strategy of separating payment of farmers across its abattoirs being in Maun, Francistown and Lobatse as an effort to avoid the delay of payments. BMC Chief Executive Officer Akolang Tombale said the payments will be separated in respect to the Northern and Southern regions. “The Northern part is mostly affected by food and mouth disease while the Southern part is free from food and mouth but when it comes to payment the challenge affects both,” said Tombale.
Tombale said the commission’s difficulties are as a result of a number of factors that have conspired to undermine the trading conditions. “What we have done is that we have separated abattoirs into business units and each is funded separately. The problem we had in the past is that we funded them as if it was one entity but currently we are managing them separately. Farmers have observed that towards the end of last year the payment of farmers has improved quiet substantially because we have put a good strategy in place,” said Tombale. He admitted that farmers were frustrated and as a result resorted to trade with local butcheries instead of BMC hence management made the decision to close down the gap by improving the payment timeframe.
He said in the past BMC struggled to meet its financial obligations due to being owed by its cattle suppliers. He said the unpaid overdue debt of P20 million from creditors in Zimbabwe is still being pursued to which government has put in place measures to recover the money.
He called on farmers to look beyond the needs of the domestic market and as such work to produce quality meat for the local, regional and international markets.