Maun’s Botswana Meat Commission abattoir, which stopped operating on June 8th because of cash flow problems, is scheduled to reopen on 19 of July, after it was bailed out by the government, said Tito Kganela, the BMC Public Relations Officer.
“The Maun BMC will reopen this coming week after closing because of cash flow problems,” he said.
He said that as soon as it opens, the abattoir will start slaughtering cattle from the Okavango district as those in Ngamiland’s movements have been stopped by the Department of Veterinary Services because of the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Matsebe a month ago.
He said that the beef from the abattoir will be sold both locally and in South Africa as boiled meat and that the test consignment will be made to South Africa soon after the abattoir has started operations.
Asked whether local butcheries are buying from them, he said that only a few of them did so following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Ngamiland, adding that they continue to appeal to the farmers to buy from the abattoir.
“We need butcheries support in order for the abattoir to run profitably but unfortunately few are buying from us at the moment,” he said.
On selling of live cattle to Zimbabwe, which started last year, he said that the exercise had temporarily been stopped as the Zimbabweans have not settled all their debts with the abattoir.
“We are looking forward to resume sale of live cattle to Zimbabwe as soon as they have settled their debt with us,” he said.
The scheme had greatly cheered Okavango farmers who had before then stayed for years without the opportunity to sell their cattle.
Some said that the development had once more given them reason to rear cattle again.