Botswana farmers want adjustment in BMC cattle prices

Farmers in Botswana have raised concerns that the price at which the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) is buying cattle is being eroded as they now have to feed livestock at high cost, as a result of the drought which has degraded pastures in the country.

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State-owned BMC has the monopoly on beef exports and is the largest cattle buyer in Botswana, according to the Botswana government.

In a recent statement, the government stated that BMC slaughtered the cattle and sold the beef to European Union (EU) countries such as Greece, Norway, and the UK, as well as South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, the UAE, and Hong Kong.

BMC’s prices for EU-compliant cattle and non-EU compliant cattle, ready for slaughter and exporting, are P33/kg and P29/kg (R44,17 and R38,81) respectively.

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In a recent interview with Farmer’s Weekly, Botswana National Beef Producers Union (BNBPU) chairman, Mudongo Direng, said beef farmers wanted BMC to increase buying prices for cattle by at least 15%, as the costs of feeding livestock have increased by more than 50% since December last year.

Responding to farmers’ concerns, BMC communications manager, Brian Dioka, said it was not easy to increase the prices at which cattle were bought from farmers, because the prices that BMC’s received from the sale of beef remained constant.