Gaborone — Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Dr Edwin Dikoloti says local farmers will soon enjoy the fruits of their hard labour because the country is looking to start exporting beef to the lucrative Chinese market.
Briefing the media on Friday morning at the ministry's headquarters in Gaborone, he said the move was made possible by the good bilateral relations between the two countries. He said through such the ministry woulod be looking to diversify the beef market by selling to China.
He pointed out that the agric. ministry was committed to ensuring that it helped small scale farmers and to put in place corrective measures to stabilise the performance of BMC to benefit Batswana.
The minister said in the past the beef industry and BMC in particular, has experienced challenges that led to the commission not yielding desired results, and that had led to government to consider engaging a management consultancy company with a view to turning the commission's fortunes around.
"The company will be tasked with the responsibility to, among other things, analyse the business model, review operations and marketing concepts of the commission," he said.
Dr Dikoloti revealed that privatisation of the commission and the process for the removal of beef export monopoly by BMC continued as planned and already the sector players were showing great interest.
He also said following the good rains that continued to be experienced throughout the country, government has now taken a decision to terminate the life cattle export dispensation. The dispensation was introduced at the height of a drastic drought that nearly decimated the cattle industry.
The export of live cattle started in October 2019 and a total of 20 173 cattle has been exported, with majority going to South Africa.
On other issues he divulged that the country had recently experienced an outbreak of the African migratory locust in the northern part of the country in Gumare and Tubu. He said measures were in place to control the outbreak, adding that 96 per cent of the work had already been done.
The minister said the teams continue to be on high alert to manage the situation, saying farmers should not panic because the teams were already mobilised and the situation was under control.
However, Dr Dikoloti revealed that challenges of rough and difficult terrain hindered the teams to work smoothly, adding that it was important for farmers to practice smart farming such as row planting.
Source : BOPA