After renovations that took a month, the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC)’s Maun abattoir has finally been reopened. The renovations will see the abattoir increasing its slaughter from 100 to 120 beasts per day. BMC Public Relations Officer, Brian Dioka told Sunday Standard in an interview that the Maun abattoir re-opened on the 7th of September.
“We are happy about it more specially that we will be able to slaughter more cattle than before,” he said.
Dioka also revealed that there might be further expansion in future if demand increases. He added that BMC will be buying cattle from all areas in Ngamiland district except for Haina Veldt, where there was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in July. Maun BMC has a history of closing and reopening because of recurrent out breaks of foot and mouth in Ngamiland. Farmers in the district have blamed the recurrent out breaks of foot and mouth for their failure to pay the debts they incurred with the National Development Bank (NDB) under the FMD Relief Fund, which was established by government to give farmers financial assistance after the disease broke out in 2008. Recently, NDB head of Branding, Marketing and Communications, Harry Marks disclosed in an interview with Sunday Standard that farmers in the district owe the bank P76 million. He also confirmed farmers complaints that re-occurrence of FMD in Ngamiland was the main reason why they were unable to repay the loans, adding that the bank has advised them to seek other sources of money. On the other hand, some farmers have challenged NDB to cancel their debts as they are not wholly to blame for failure to pay back. Others have said they may not be able to pay back because of the drought situation.