Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Meat Commission, Dr Akanyang Tombale, says that they are making inroads in so far as finding alternative markets to the lucrative European market.
He said they have been able to find markets in countries as far as the Gulf.
“I am glad we are making progress in finding alternative markets for our products in far away countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Dubai and we hope to continue in this regard as it is important for us,” he said.
Besides the Gulf States, which he says that they are dealing with through a Kuwaiti company, he said that they have also found a market in Hong Kong.
In Africa, Dr Tombale said that South Africa is still their major market but that they are now also selling to other African countries such as Angola and Mozambique and that negotiations are at an advanced stage to sell to Ghana and Nigeria.
He also revealed that sales of live cattle for slaughter to Zimbabwe from Ngamiland and Okavango have resumed, which he says is a relief to farmers in the two districts.
The sale of live cattle to Zimbabwe was stopped early this year after the country decided to stop issuing import permits to companies importing cattle from Botswana on grounds that they were still reviewing their imports bills.
The decision to vigorously look for alternative markets to the EU was taken after realization that EU market conditions were so strict that the majority of farmers, more especially those in communal grazing areas, could not access the market because of its stringent conditions.
The EU markets demands that cattle slaughtered for the market should have proper identification of where they originate from and where they had been a few days before they were slaughtered.
A few years back BMC lost tones of beef after the EU declined to let it into their markets because they claimed that the cattle were fed with banned substances before they were slaughtered.