Zimbabwe has partly paid the money it owed the Botswana Meat Commission for live cattle it has been obtaining from Botswana since last year.
This is according to the Maun BMC General Manager, Mothobi Mothobi. He declined to give the amount.
“I do not think it would be proper to state the figures,” he said.
Mothobi was also not able to say why the Zimbabweans were failing to pay the whole amount. The failure by Zimbabwe to fully pay for what they owed had led to the BMC suspending the selling of live cattle to Zimbabwe.
“We are confident that they will pay the rest of the money they owe so that we can restart business dealings again,” he said.
He said that they are planning to start sending cattle to Zimbabwe in two weeks’ time, which he said they hoped to boost confidence between the two parties.
Selling of cattle to Zimbabwe started late last year and cattle sold to Zimbabwe are only for slaughter and originate from FMD areas, such as North East, Ngamiland and Okavango. That development was welcomed by farmers more especially in Okavango and Ngamiland where farmers had gone for years without selling cattle because of the FMD problem.
Farmers who have sold their cattle to Zimbabwe in Okavango were happy as they said their cattle were bought at much higher prices than their cattle had ever fetched before. One of such farmers said that his cow got P5,000, which was a price he would have normally got for two.
Selling to Zimbabwe is also expected to reduce the problem of overgrazing, which was caused by lack of market for the cattle in the areas.
The MoA, addressing a press conference in the past, said that they were concerned that if they do not find a big market for the cattle in the two areas, it would be a disaster if drought hit the areas.