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UAE accredits BMC

20 Mar 2023

Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) has been accredited to export beef to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Addressing Parliament recently, Minister of Entrepreneurship, Mr Karabo Gare said plans were also underway to complete accreditation of the Maun abattoir to also gain access to the UAE and other Arab States of the Gulf this year.

Minister Gare said the Maun abattoir remained an integral strategic part of the BMC group and the long term plans were to have the plant separated from the commercially performing Lobatse branch while providing Ngamiland farmers with a market without weighing down on BMC’s performing assets.

With regard to the Francistown BMC, Minister Gare said the commission remained committed to ensure that the abattoir successfully transitioned from its current care and maintenance programme to become an operational business unit.

“While government’s long term intentions are to privatise the BMC and delink operating entities, especially those that are weighing heavily on the performing asserts, the immediate plans are to rather stabilise the business,” he said.

He added that committed plans to privatise BMC were ongoing cautiously to ensure that its future value was secured and further ensure that it remained accessible to all cattle farmers.

The minister also told Parliament that in an effort to achieve both profitability and sustainability, BMC had developed a four-year strategic performance plan dubbed Meriting 2022-2025.

The strategy, he said was to address internal inefficiencies and reduce dependence on government as well as enhance customer relations to re-attract market share.

“The strategy comes at a time when BMC’s overall performance had critically declined and its leaning over government funds has been untenable, as such needed an urgent turnaround,” he said. Again, he said the BMC turnaround depended much on its external environment having rid itself of existing inefficiencies.

The BMC, he said, had also capped its production to define minimum quantities, which would demonstrate its transitioning from loss-making to realising a break-even point and ultimately achieve profitability.

He said the BMC intended to further rationalise its organisational structure to align to cap production and in turn purposively reduce and align its costs to industry benchmarks.

Further, Minister Gare said BMC had also changed its selling and distribution model and would thus embark on secondary processing of its raw beef.

“The shift is intended to improve margins while exporting more finished value-added products to lucrative markets between this year and 2025,” he said.

He also indicated that the strategy introduced a myriad of products to entice and securitise cattle supply, which would culminate in price increase for all cattle suppliers.

The sum total of such efforts, he said, improved cattle throughput last year to 36 125 for both Lobatse and Maun being 83 per cent improvement from 19 671 in 2021. “Attraction of throughput coupled with enhanced marketing of BMC products in the market saw annual turnover improve by 85 per cent.

Despite strategy performance, Mr Gare said there were hurdles that regressed the BMC from achieving the intended annual turnover of P681 million last year.

Such, he said included loss of 45 days of production as well as cessation of cattle supplies due to the foot and mouth outbreak at Zone 6b in August last year.

He said supply to BMC had also been seriously challenged by live cattle exports dispensation, which was able to export about 176 476 cattle for the year 2022, against BMC’s slaughter of 36 125 in the same year.

He further said as part of sweating the value chain, the BMC was engaged with Special Economic Zones Authority and Local Enterprises Authority to deliver on a long awaited national project dubbed the leather park.

To that end, he said BMC was courting LEA and SEZA to revive its tannery so that it went back to producing wet-blue tanned leather and securitise adequate base raw material for the leather park project. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Mosinyi

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament March 2023

Date : 20 Mar 2023