Southern region Farmers Association members have welcomed the decision by the Department of Veterinary Services to approve the Botswana Meat Commission’s request to sell its beef to the lucrative European Union market.
Samuel Pheresi, a member of the Southern Farmers’ Association, said that it was a great development that will give hope to farmers that they will after all be able to sell their cattle to the lucrative European Union markets again.
Though happy about the development, Pheresi said that his main concern was that it will benefit those with farms and feedlots mostly as compared to an ordinary Motswana who still rears his cattle the old way at cattle posts as he will be required to keep his cattle in a feedlot at a cost for many weeks before the cattle are sent to the BMC for identification purposes as required by the EU.
“Those of us still rearing cattle at cattle posts, I am afraid have nothing much to celebrate about as we will be sharing money with feedlot owners,” he lamented.
For his part, the Kweneng Farmers Association chairman, Willie Kathruma, said that they are over the moon with the latest development as this shows that farmers can look forward to being able to sell their cattle to EU once again as they have always wished.
“We have been in limbo for a long time, this brings hope to us as farmers and we look forward to being able to sell to EU again,” he said.
The EU delisted BMC after complaining about lack of proper cattle identification in the country, a thing they say is against their organasation’s regulations.
The BMC’s Chief Executive, Dr David Falepau, early this year estimated that if BMC is not delisted to access EU markets the country will forgo P90 million in gross revenue and that this was likely to get worse if it does not get relisted by February.
After the BMC was delisted, DVS employees got down to work with those of BMC to make sure that the BMC gets relisted again. Amongst the developments was to urge farmers to set up feed lots, which help in making sure that cattle are properly indentified before they are slaughtered for EU markets.
Also happy about the development is the BMC Public Relations Officer, Tiro Kganela, who said that this was a very interesting piece of news for the organisation and farmers in general.
“We are very glad about this and hope that the EU will relist us soon so that farmers can enjoy the fruits of their hard work by selling to the lucrative EU markets again,” he said.