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Cattle supply remain a challenge

Cattle supply remain a challenge
ON MISSION: Six sponsored farmers before taking off to Norway

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security Boipolelo Khumomatlhare says cattle supply shortages is a major concern at Botswana Meat Commission (BMC).

The Permanent Secretary made the remarks last weekend at a send off ceremony of six farmers who left the country for Norway on bench-marking mission.

The five-day trip was sponsored by BMC, Nourtura and Global Protein Solution of United Kingdom to understand demands and conditions of the Norway market.

He said what most people fail to understand is that cattle supply shortages remains a contributor to BMC’s poor performance.

Khumomatlhare said he hopes the farmers will learn from their Norwegian counterparts on how to improve supply and equally get better payments for their stock.

“Markets in the first world are naturally sensitive, our failure to supply quality beef at the time it is needed has serious implications. Re-entry into such markets are at times the hardest. I hope understanding the market will empower these farmers and many others with the right attitude towards commercializing beef cattle supply instantly,” said Khumomatlhare.

The PS added that there is suspicion often carried by many that BMC is not paying enough hence the farmers have an opportunity to access the information on market prices.

Khumomatlhare said his ministry is aware of the challenges faced by both the BMC and farmers and they are currently consulting on the immediate measures or interventions required.

BMC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale, said in the past there have been some arguments between farmers and BMC on issues of transparency and lack of trust in their interactions.

He said with his mission BMC is hoping to facilitate the beginning and building of that trust.

“These farmers will get first hand feedback from the market as well as appreciate varied and efficiently run abattoirs and feedlot holdings in Norway.

Even more importantly, they should be ascertain to the fact that the quality of slaughter cattle in Botswana needs urgent improving and investment for global competition,” said Dr Tombale