The government of Botswana is privatising the country’s Meat Commission after years of complaints from farmers that it slows down exports. The BMC is the only entity sanctioned to regulate abattoirs and export beef that accounts for 2% of Gross Domestic Product.
The Agriculture Ministry says it will now be a limited liability company, commercialised to improve efficiency. Botswana’s 3 million cattle surpass its 2million people. Farmers have complained that the Meat Commission no longer meets the demand for regulation and exports and it is failing to diversify markets away from South Africa and the European Union.
Farmers say the commission takes between three and six months to pay them, killing their businesses. The Ministry of Agriculture agrees that seasonal overcapacity and under-exploitation of quality produce are among reasons for the privatisation.
Botswana wants to increase the GDP contribution of beef to the economy.