MAUN ÔÇô The Maun abattoir of the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will cease belonging to the meat agency once BMC is privatized but its ownership will be transferred to the government, the Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Patrick Ralotsia has said.
Ralotsia said because of its vulnerability to odd situations which have over the years threatened its continued operations, Maun BMC has been given special consideration by the government and will now be fully supported with an annual budget to allow for its smooth running.
Ralotsia, who recently held a meeting with Ngamiland farmers, the BMC and its stakeholders in Maun promised that in no distant future, he will ensure that farmers are represented in the BMC board.
He was however quick to hasten that selection criteria will be based on merit and that it might or might not include farmers from Ngamiland as representatives will be picked randomly from across the country.
Ralotsia said should funds permit, the government might even consider having a Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) outbreak budget. He said another development will be to have evaluation after the end of every vaccination period to determine if all targeted cattle had passed the vaccination exercise.
Speaking on behalf of farmers, Chairperson of North West Integrated Farmers Association (NWIFA) Mokadi Masedi noted that for the reason that the FMD situation has proved to be a permanent issue, looking at repeated outbreak incidents, the Ministry of Environmment, Wildlife and Tourism should be roped in for possible backing.
As a turnaround strategy Government last week converted BMC to a limited liability company with the focus to eventually commercialise and achieve operational efficiencies with an appropriate mix of ownership between farmers’ legal entities and Government.
Through a statement read out in Parliament, Ralotsia revealed the new development of eventual liberalization of the institution.