Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sefalana’s Bran ‘grip’ loosened

The Competition and Consumer Authority (CCA), the state owned agency mandated to ensure fair competition in the market, has said that it has negotiated with one of the biggest wholesale/retail group in the country, Sefalana Holdings to reduce its market concentration as far as the selling of Bran is concerned.

Bran is a milling by-product of sorghum, wheat, maize and other grains that can be used as an input in fodder production or directly fed to livestock.

The CCA says it has since agreed with Foods Botswana, a subsidiary of Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed Sefalana Holding Company Limited to reduce the minimum purchase quantity for bran from 30 tonnes to ten (10) tonnes to enhance access to bran for customers, including small businesses and individuals who may have been previously constrained.

CCA admits that its intervention was prompted by several complaints from consumers and stakeholders about access to bran from Foods Botswana. Initially, Foods Botswana had established a minimum purchase quantity of 30 metric tonnes, which seemed to limit market access and competition in the retailing of bran as only a few large businesses could meet the requirement leading to market concentration.

“Based on that, the Authority engaged Foods Botswana to remove the identified market constraint and reduce the minimum purchase quantity of bran to allow access by many businesses,” reads part of a statement issued by CCA this past week.

Foods Botswana is based in Serowe village in the central part of the country and manufactures/produces sorghum, soya and maize products for retailing as well as Tsabana and Malutu produced exclusively for the Government feeding scheme.

The agreement between CCA and Foods Botswana comes at a time when the Government of Botswana has just declared 2022/23 a severe arable agricultural drought year throughout the country. “The Authority therefore commends Foods Botswana for its cooperation in reducing market concentration and improving consumer choice in the market for the retailing of bran,” reads part of the CCA statement.

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