With the African Development Bank having recommended to Botswana to diversify its livestock trade by exporting edible offal meat, the Botswana Meat Commission Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Akolang Tombale, has revealed that the Botswana market is actually the most lucrative for such product.
With a price difference of 54 percent, South Africa is the second most lucrative market for Botswana beef after the European Union. The latter doesn’t import offal meat while the former does. Some of that meat is also consumed locally. Tombale says that BMC‘s experience has been that Botswana pays better for offal meat than South Africa. However, with its business being re-oriented, BMC is looking to export this meat to new markets.
“We are talking to the Chinese and hopefully we will be able to export to them in the future. They pay much higher prices for offal meat,” Tombale says.
This meat is also consumed in huge quantities in West Africa but a deal with a local company to supply the Nigerian market has not taken off as had been anticipated.
A study by the AfDB has found that Botswana’s livestock trade ÔÇô as indeed that of much of Africa ÔÇô has very low diversity. The degree of diversity of a country reflects its capability to produce and export a variety of products that require certain knowledge endowment in their manufacturing. A country’s diversity is expressed by the number of products it exports with a comparative advantage. The best performer in the AfDB study is Namibia whose livestock diversity is 11 products. With a diversity of only two products, Botswana is in the league of countries such as Benin, Eritrea, Gambia, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.
BMC exports some of its meat offal regionally but AfDB’s analysis is that Botswana still has “untapped potential” in other meat and edible meat offal. Edible offal contributes 33 percent of the edible material and offers a range of nutritiously attractive foods which are common menu items in different parts of the world, especially the Third World.
In conceding the point about the untapped potential, Tombale drew attention to BMC’s evolution as reflected in the company’s new vision statement. The old statement (“To be a supplier of choice for quality beef”) didn’t pay substantive focus to the offal meat market while the new one (“Globally renowned meat and diversified products enterprise”) does.