Breaking News

BMC to start slaughter of Ngamiland cattle March 27

20 Mar 2023

Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) in Maun will start slaughtering animals from the Ngamiland region on March 27.

Another batch will be slaughtered next month.

BMC plant manager, Mr Ishmael Ramorula revealed this  when responding to councillors comments recently.

Some councillors had wanted to know how the slaughtering process of cattle affected by the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) from zone 6b affected slaughtering of animals from the Ngamiland farming community.

Mr Ramorula said they could not deny Ngamiland farming community to slaughter their animals at the facility.

“The slaughtering process of cattle from zone 6 has not affected our arrangement with the local farmers as some farmers have already kept some animals at Makalamabedi quarantine which are almost ready for slaughter,” he added.

He also explained that while they prioritised the national exercise of slaughtering animals from zone 6b, the same arrangement with other relevant authorities had been made to stop the exercise and cater for animals from Ngamiland and after completion, they would continue with animals from zone 6b.

The abattoir, he said, was working closely with a local farmers’ committee, which allocated quotas to all the three quarantines in the region.

Prior to slaughtering animals from Ngamiland, Mr Ramorula said the plant and kraals would be thoroughly cleaned for three days, adding that they had written to the Department of Water and Sanitation to request water rights to disinfect the facilities.

He further informed councillors that the eradication exercise was going smoothly and they had already slaughtered over 1 500 animals since the arrival of the first consignment.

He added that about 10 000 animals, were expected to be slaughtered at the abattoir, which he said had a capacity to slaughter 120 a day.

The move to slaughter zone 6 animals at Maun abattoir follows government’s decision to eradicate FMD animals and maintain the area’s green zone status.

Mr Ramorula was hopeful that they would complete the exercise in three months.

Earlier, some councillors decried lack of proper consultation with the farming community regarding the eradication exercise of zone 6b animals.

They said farmers were also confused on whether to take cattle for slaughter or not because there was no consultation.

Cllr Moetetse Mogalakwe of Makalamabedi expressed concern about the delay to pay farmers, noting that some had thus resorted to selling their animals at private abattoirs where payments were made on time.

He thus called for solutions to address payment delays, noting  that pastoral farming was paramount to the economy of Ngamiland.

Farmers, he said were eager to sell their cattle to BMC but the organisation had failed them.

Kgosi Tjazako Munduu concurred that some farmers were losing trust on BMC due to delayed payments,.

“Many are losing interest in rearing cattle because they feel that animals have no value and yet farming is our source of livelihood. I wish you could up your game and restore the trust we had on BMC,” he added.

In response, Mr Ramorula informed them that efforts had been made to improve the turnaround time for payments and the aim was to pay farmers within seven days.

He assured them that all farmers whose cattle were slaughtered this year had been paid on time.

He acknowledged delayed payments, which he attributed to the absence of a convenient budget. 

This, he said, meant BMC had to sell meat first to generate revenue. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Esther Mmolai

Location : Maun

Event : Council meeting

Date : 20 Mar 2023