Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Boitumelo Mogome Maseko has informed farmers who attended the Voorslag Farmers Expo in Letlhakane that Farm Assurance is the foundation of branding meat. She said without the farmer, it would be difficult for BMC to brand Botswana Meat. Farmers were also informed that BMC has started the Farm Assurance Program and is working with USAID as part of the beef cluster initiative which is being run by the National Strategy Office (NSO).
Dr Mogome-Maseko further revealed that BMC is currently focused on the improvement of the market centricity. She said for many years the Commission outsourced sales and marketing services but now they are working on capacity building on that aspect, branding of Botswana beef and market penetration to fetch lucrative prices. Farmers were also informed about the implementation of P3/Kg drought subsidy. Dr Mogome-Maseko revealed that there is a campaign team comprising of BMC, Department of Veterinary Services in Collaboration with Botswana Police Service to ensure that the primary beef producer has direct access to P3/Kg drought subsidy. She informed farmers that the team is conducting campaigns around the country to encourage farmers to sell cattle to BMC.
On his part, His Excellency the President of Botswana Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi urged farmers in Boteti area to take advantage of opportunities in the agricultural sector saying government will continue to develop and diversify it. He implored farmers to empower them- selves with necessary training that would enable them to identify and explore opportunities in the agricultural sector. He said government was equally equipped with qualified personnel to guide the entrepreneurs venturing into the sector.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Mr Fidelis Molao appealed to farmers in Boteti to come up with mitigation strategies to combat the climatic challenge. One of the mitigation strategies, he said was the rearing of drought tolerant livestock species. The minister further encouraged farmers to embrace technology to yield better returns.