The General Manager of Botalana Ventures, who is also the Chairman of Botswana Ostrich Farmers Association, Jan Williams, says that they are hopeful that the European Union will give Botswana Multispicies Abattoir a license allowing it to export ostrich byproducts to it in the near future.
Speaking in an interview with Sunday Standard, Williams says that EU inspectors are expected in the country soon to make a determination on whether to issue a license and that they are hopeful that they the abattoir will get the license.
“We are very hopeful that the abattoir will get the license and farmers will be able to sell their birds, which will make the industry which is still in its infancy to grow,” he said.
The fact that they are currently not able to export to the lucrative overseas markets has adversely affected the growth of ostrich industry which is still at its infancy stage in the country.
“Once the abattoir had been given license we will start to grow as an industry in the country as we would be able to attract more people to be ostrich farmers,” he said.
He said that financial institutions like CEDA have also expressed willingness to give loans to those who want to go into ostrich farming once there is a market for the birds which he says shows that they see that there is potential in ostrich farming in the country.
Asked if there is a market for ostrich byproducts, Williams said that there is a huge market for ostrich byproducts around the world that is just waiting for them.
“There is a huge market waiting for our products around the world as we speak. I have heard about shortages of ostrich beef in many foreign countries and my hope is that once the abattoir is given license we will be able to serve that market,” he stressed.
More encouraging is that there is a general shortage of red meat around the world and that South Africa, which has a well functioning ostrich farming industry, has been having constant out breaks of bird flu which he said should be an added advantage to Botswana ostrich farmers.
On whether there are enough birds to make the abattoir viable, he said that he is confident that it will be viable because unlike in the past where it was only aimed at slaughtering ostriches, this time it is a multi-purpose abattoir which allows it to also slaughter cattle.