Gantsi District Council is seeking partnerships with business people who want to set up an abattoir to provide the district’s residents with quality and safe meat, Nelson Molepoloe, the Council secretary, has said.
“Our interest in the proposed abattoir is to see that our residents have access to safe beef slaughtered in an abattoir with a high standard of hygiene,” Molepolole said.
The Council’s development agenda included plans for an abattoir, but financial constraints held those plans back.
“The current economic situation we are in means lack of funds which has made us defer the plans,” he said.
However, Molepolole was uncertain on how long it would take for an abattoir to start operating because the Council’s potential partners would be looking at both the local and exports markets.
Stakeholders like the Ministry of Agriculture indicated it may take longer than is desired.
The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC)’s monopoly of Botswana’s export of beef is likely to be a constraint in speedy establishment of an abattoir, he added.
Despite this, Molepolole said the Council remained hopeful of further meeting the stakeholders next month to discuss the issue some more.
Recently, Minister of Agriculture, Christian de Graaf, confirmed that the ministry had held meetings with both the Gantsi District Council and business people over the plans for an abattoir.
He said the ministry would carefully study the proposal to gauge how it would impact on Botswana’s beef market and likely affect both the ministry and the BMC.
Currently, there is a strong lobby in the country against the dominance of the BMC over beef exports.