Rated amongst the worst performing State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) by the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority (BAOA) in the recent past, the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), has, in a rare occurrence, witnessed significant improvements in its operations.
Already, three months into the New Year, BMC is said to have recorded an increase in the number of cattle slaughtered. Official figures shared with Parliament recently shows that the number of cattle slaughtered from January to February 2022 was 3029, compared to the same period last year where the commission slaughtered only 561.
BMC’s transition from a monopoly will begin this year. Parliament passed the BMC Transition Act of 2019, which Agriculture Minister Molebatsi Molebatsi said will effect during the first quarter of 2021. Amongst other things, the new Act seeks to create a meat industry regulatory authority, and liberalize the meat export market. The transition, eagerly awaited by most, is deemed the panacea needed to rescue the BMC from its mires of dire performance.
While the state owned beef exporter has enjoyed monopoly of the local beef industry for years experts have argued that it has been more detrimental than beneficial to the farmer. In as recent as early 2020 some farmers were up in arms over the commission’s failure to pay their dues on time.
Meanwhile the minister responsible for Agriculture, Karabo Gare told Parliament that BMC has since developed an organizational strategy aimed at addressing matters of urgent nature within the BMC, referred to MERITING 2022-2025 Strategy.
“It is through the implementation of this Strategy, which is in its first-year of implementation, that BMC will address existing challenges and meet the growing and shifting market demands.”, Gare said.
The BMC MERITING Strategy map out the direction the state owned meat exporter will take to fulfill its mandate as well as meet its strategic goals, driven by desired principle of self-sustenance, sustainability, and commerciality.
But even before the enactment of the new Act and the new strstegy, BMC itself is looking for a new Executive Officer. Already cabinet is expected to give a green light to the appointment of a new CEO by end of this month.
The BMC CEO post has been vacant for a while now following the departure of Dr Akolang Tombale in September 2018. Tombale was replaced with Boitumelo Mogome-Maseko on acting capacity and her contract was not renewed in March 2021.