- Meat Board of Namibia says it took advantage of Botswana’s failure
- Aims to import live cattle from Botswana for European market
The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) has failed to utilise its entire Norwegian beef quota for 2021under the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), The Business Weekly & Review has established.
This is contained in a communiqué that was issued recently by the Meat Board of Namibia that shows that beef exporters in the neighbouring country were able to make full use of Namibia’s 50 percent share (1 600 tonnes) of the available SACU Norwegian beef quota of 3 200 tonnes for 2021. The quota was allocated by Norway as a joint scheme for Namibia and Botswana.
Describing the Norwegian market as an extremely lucrative one for Namibia, the communiqué said since Botswana could not use its 50 percent share of the 3 200 tonnes (allocated jointly for the two countries), Namibia was also able to supplement that deficit by approximately 700 tonnes. “This is despite a significant decrease in beef marketing numbers during 2021 compared to 2020,” the Meat Board of Namibia said in the statement.
The development comes hardly a year after President Mokgweetsi Masisi asked a top Norwegian official to increase Botswana’s beef quota. At a meeting with Norway’s deputy foreign affairs minister Marianne Hagen, President Masisi said Botswana was ready for an increased beef quota. “Government is prepared to allocate small stock farmers mainly to young people, knowing that there is a guaranteed market,” President Masisi was quoted as saying.
He added that while the effort was aimed at creating employment, Botswana was also keen to increase the value of its beef “so that we can do part processing according to the dictates of the market and ship straightaway”. Marianne reportedly said Norway was currently negotiating a beef deal with Botswana and SACU. Meanwhile, the Meat Board of Namibia revealed that it had identified Botswana for importing cattle to augment its beef exports to European countries. This followed a decision by the Botswana government to temporarily lift its moratorium on exports of live cattle and Namibian abattoirs were encouraged to take advantage of the trade.
“However, only male animals may be imported from Botswana’s free Foot and Mouth Disease zone subject to strict import requirements of the Namibian Directorate Veterinary Services,” the Meat Board of Namibia was quoted as saying. From a preliminary application for 1,904 cattle, 1,389 cattle have already been imported for slaughter at Namibian abattoirs, the Meat Board of Namibia said.