The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) is to restart selling live cattle from some parts of Foot and Mouth prone districts of Ngamiland for slaughter in Zimbabwe.
This was confirmed by, Tiro Kganela, the Public Relations Officer of BMC.
He said that the cattle to be sold to Zimbabwe’s Cold Storage Commission (CSC) will only be from areas whose cattle are eligible for sale.
On the numbers they intend to sell to Zimbabwe, Kganela said that they are not able to forecast the numbers that will be sold to the CSC as that would depend on the resources of the buyer and the number of eligible cattle available for sale from Ngamiland.
Asked how the past drought, which saw thousands of cattle killed in Ngamiland will affect the deal, Kganela said that the deal will positively affect the cattle industry in Ngamiland as it will help reduce the number of cattle in the district and the impact of overstocking in range land.
Kganela also confirmed that last year, they stopped sales of cattle to the CSC because it owed them money, adding that the problem has since been partly resolved as the company is now remaining with only one outstanding installment.
In the past, cattle sales to a Zimbabwe was stopped after the company failed to pay the BMC money amounting to over P10 million.
The cattle were from the Okavango District which has not experienced outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in many months.
Ngamiland farmers were elated by the chance to sell their cattle after many years of not being able to. They happily spoke about high prices they were offered for their cattle by the Zimbabweans and said they never thought they could be offered such prices for their cattle.