The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) plant in Maun is planning to expand its sales “abroad” with focus now shifting to neighbouring South Africa and Namibia. The two countries are however notable producers of beef with the latter directly competing with Botswana for lucrative markets in the global space.
To pave way for the new development, the plant’s manager Oabona Ramotswara says that they have invited veterinary officers from both countries into the country so that they could assess Maun plant and how the country is handling livestock more especially in regard to the disease control.
Ngamiland district has in the past experienced out breaks of disease such as Foot and Mouth (FMD) and lung disease which saw the abattoir closing operations several times in the past.
“We are just hopeful that they will come and see what we have before we start negotiations that will hopefully see the plant selling beef to them”, Ramotswara said.
The Maun BMC plant according to Ramotswara is operating within the set standards. For 2017, the plant, which is currently exporting beef to Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has set a target of 29,000 heads of cattle for slaughter.
The abattoir has a history of closing and reopening because of recurrent out breaks of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Ngamiland. In 2016, production at the Maun abattoir was affected by water shortages occasioned by the drying up of Thamalakane River. Fast forward to 2017, the river is currently over flowing and there are even fears that there could be floods.