Thousands tonnes of packaged meat from the Botswana Meat Commission’s Maun plant which was reported to be stuck at Port Beira, Mozambique three months back has been sold in that country.
The beef was stuck on transit to foreign markets following outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Ngamiland district in September 2017.
Plant manager at BMC ÔÇô Maun, Oabona Ramotshwana said this week that the meat agency has since been able to sell the beef in Mozambique which is one of BMC’s foreign markets.
There were fears that the beef might have to be destroyed following the outbreak of FMD but the department of veterinary later declared the meat as safe for consumption.
The discovery of FMD in September, the first in a period of two years, is believed to have come at time when farmers were adamant that the disease had been contained and done with.
At the time, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Resources Patrick Ralotsia when briefing councillors at the North West District Council (NWDC) said that in the two years that the disease had not re-emerged, the country had managed to secure markets from as far as Vietnam, Kuwait and Mozambique.
“We are bound to lose big time this time around as these countries are likely to pull out. We had worked extremely hard to convince them to trust us with our produce, and now this. And while it is a well known fact that this disease is normally spread by buffaloes, I want to tell you that this time around the blame lies with farmers as it has been realized that they do not bring all their cattle during vaccination. This is an unfortunate situation which could have been avoided and now we all have to bear the brunt”, said Ralotsia in September.
Meanwhile Ramotshwana said this week that BMC’s efforts to find other markets for the Ngamiland beef are continuing and that they recently visited DRC to scout for markets.
“All I can is that negotiations are still ongoing and we might be able to sell to the country in the near future”, he said.
Maun BMC is expected to start slaughtering cattle on the first week of January after closing after the outbreak of the disease three months ago.
There are also other reports that indicate that a privately owned – Nhabe abattoir is already exporting beef to the mineral rich DRC.