Friday, April 3, 2020

Botswana-China beef export deal at an advanced stage

After years of ban by the Republic of the people of China on Botswana beef and beef products in 1995 following the contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) outbreak, the deal is back on the table to resume exportation to China.

It is understood that, in December 2019 a rigorous audit was carried on the foot and mouth disease by the client and on 15th February 2020 China lifted the ban. 

The Sunday Standard has gathered that talks are at an advanced stage and the only challenge blocking the way is the Covid-19 virus outbreak in China which is now affecting global trade. 

In an interview with the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr Edwin Dikoloti this Friday, said “the Chinese delegation is yet to come and view the facilities that will be exporting the beef to China. The current challenge before us is the Covid-19 virus outbreak; we do not want to take chances therefore playing it safe. Corona has reduced trust amongst the trading partners globally.” As for the existing markets, the beef export to those markets the pinch of Covid-19 virus has not been felt much yet, from the Minister’s point of view, however a temporary window of live export was opened for the farmers. 

Botswana has not had proper market for its carcass over the years, according to the Minister Dikoloti China is a big market with a better price and it will further open up the market for other parts. “I am longing for markets for whatever we produce, and this is for the benefit of our farmers,” he said. 

Botswana experienced the CBPP in February 1995 after 56 years of freedom from the disease. The outbreak was confined to the north-western region of the country in the Ngamiland District, which led to China’s ban on the country’s beef business. CBPP was eradicated by applying the stamping-out policy that was implemented in April 1996 and resulted in the slaughter of 320,000 cattle. Botswana was declared CBPP-free by the World Organisation of Animal Health in 1998.

In mid 2019, the 87th General Assembly of the World Animal conference (OIE) in Paris- France, as part of its resolutions approved the CBPP and the Peste Petit de Ruminantes (PPR) freedom status without vaccination in Botswana.

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