A delegation from the European Union is expected in Botswana in January 2010 to put in place a monitoring system that will verify compliance, on residues of veterinary medicines, pesticides, and contaminants.
This comes after Botswana signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which gives opportunities for increased export of beef and other products, as long as they meet internationally acceptable quality standards.
This revelation was made at the two-day National meat workshop held at the National Food Technology Research Centre in Kanye.
The workshop was attended by national and international experts and individuals who were interested in meat production, processing and marketing in the country, including farmers, meat processors, livestock traders, national policy makers and different types of stakeholders.
For NTRC, the aim of the workshop was to cover topics covering the broad spectrum of the meat industry, extending from government policies, legislation, standards, animal production, processing, scientific research support, marketing, financial support as well as entrepreneurship challenges.
One of the areas covered within the first day of the workshop was the issue of standards, which was rightfully addressed by a representative from the country’s national standardizing body, the Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS).There are currently 238 registered standards in the country.
Dr Andrew Aganga, principal of the meat inspection centre and chairman of BOBS’s technical committee on meat and meat products revealed that nowadays food standards have become the norm and Botswana, as a large exporter of beef, is no exception.
“Essential health and hygiene are the focus, which is consistent with international standards,” said Aganga.
He also revealed that outbreaks of food Bourne illnesses can do outmost damage to tourism and trade affairs.
“Standardization of food hygiene contributes to a country’s economic development as it is in a better position to meet most countries’ health requirements for food, and for protection of consumer goods and services. BOBS exists to establish national standards and facilitate and/or enhance their implementation,” said Aganga.