The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will today (Tuesday) resume the purchase of live animals from Maun farmers in the Ngamiland district.
BMC public relations office said the live animals will be exported to Zimbabwe and they will be bought from the Haina Veld East and Haina Veld West enclosed farms.
Selling of cattle to Zimbabwe started three years ago with cattle sold to Zimbabwe prescribed for slaughter and originate from FMD areas, such as North East, Ngamiland and Okavango.
The development has since been welcomed by farmers more especially in Okavango and Ngamiland who had gone for years without selling cattle because of the FMD problem.
As a way of assuring safety on beef products, European countries banned beef exports from Botswana, more especially from FMD infected areas such as Ngamiland and which forced Botswana to secure the market of live cattle for Ngamiland and Bobirwa areas which are still experiencing frequent outbreaks of FMD.
The government says selling to Zimbabwe is also expected to reduce the problem of overgrazing, which was caused by lack of market for the cattle in the areas.
As of October 2013, some 500 head of live cattle are being sold to the Zimbabwean market every month. This is a continuation of the Botswana government’s export deal of trading live cattle to Zimbabwe for an indefinite period.
The BMC is however mum on whether Zimbabwe has paid the outstanding balance which was owed to it some two years back. The failure to fully pay the debt led to BMC suspending the selling of live cattle to Zimbabwe in 2012.