Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) looks to change its fortunes following the newly identified lucrative market in China, starting October 2019.
BMC Head of Communications Brian Dioka told The Patriot on Sunday he is optimistic that they are set for full recovery. He said the envisaged beef export to China is part of the commission’s strategy of expanding into the new lucrative markets beyond the European Union and Norway.
Dioka said BMC is shifting focus from relying on single market environments so as to access more markets with stable economic growth such as Middle East, Russia and Asia. He also expressed delight for the new deal saying being such a strong economy, China will boost BMC to return to profitability after running under losses for quite some time.
“Botswana/China beef deal has been sealed. BMC is ready to export beef to the Chinese market by October. Part of the 40 000 tonnes of beef that we export to South Africa on annual basis will be diverted to China with more cattle to be slaughtered as well,” he said.
Dioka further said BMC will be able to pay farmers well on time because the China market will improve on the sales of BMC adding that this will fully boost or recover farmer’s confidence in the meat commission. He said exporting beef to China is a great opportunity as it will improve the sales performance of BMC as well as giving chance to the farmers to sell livestock in large bulk to the meat commission.
Consultations on Botswana- China beef agreement with primary producers being farmers will be done across the country through district farmers associations. Acting minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nonofo Molefhi made revelations on Botswana exporting beef to China last week on Thursday while officiating at the National Human Resource Development Conference (NHRDC) in Gaborone.
Molefhi, who is also Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration (MOPAPA) said a technical team comprising of high esteemed government officials from China have been shuttling around Gaborone last week to strike the deal. “Botswana and China are reaching a very lucrative deal which will see the Botswana beef market expanding to China which is one of the largest economies. Exporting to China will also enhance more generation of new potential markets in Asia as well, ‘equipped Molefhi.
Molefhi also said the Chinese delegation from the veterinary services will again visit Botswana in August to assess the BMC abattoirs and the feedlots. Beef exporting to China will be diversifying the long standing traditional European Union (EU) market which has been the stronghold for Botswana beef products.
Currently Botswana has been exporting beef to South Africa, United Kingdom, Israel and Belgium with these destinations being the largest buyers of Botswana beef products.
Furthermore, the Botswana Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2016 report has reflected that there is huge potential for Botswana beef exports into over 11 more markets.
According to PSFP, more new potential markets are certain across Europe, Asia, the Middle East as well as penetrating large the entire African continent.
Botswana pulled out of China market in the early 90s due to the outbreak of contagious lung diseases that afflicted cattle and buffaloes in the country at the time.