Q: According to figures from Statistics Botswana, the cattle population is on a decline due to factors like straying, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and theft. Besides these, what do you think causes the decline?
A: The BNBPU position is that most of the allegations around the cattle population decline started when the BMC no longer received enough animals for slaughter. We are yet to be furnished with convincing statistics ever since physical cattle counting ceased some years back. What we are aware of are the following:
- The effects of foot and mouth in some zones where elimination became the only option.
- Poor calving rates due to the BMC being not attractive to farmers because of low prices and extended delays in payment from around 2012 to 2021. We must state that the situation improved from October 2021 with the BMC paying better prices with a much better payment turnaround time. We hope things keep on improving.
- Slaughter through theft.
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