HomeLocal NewsGovt reconsiders Bots cattle deal

Govt reconsiders Bots cattle deal

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The government may consider stopping importation of cattle from foot-and-mouth disease zones in Botswana for slaughter, to keep the beef industry in Matabeleland South alive, a Cabinet minister has said.

Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube, who is also a cattle farmer in the Midlands, said the drought ravaging Matabeleland had threatened the industry. Ncube said importation of the 30 000 cattle from Botswana for direct slaughter at the Cold Storage Company (CSC) premises in Bulawayo had compounded the situation.

“If the prices of cattle are going down because of a glut caused by the importation of the cattle from Botswana, then maybe as government we might have to consider stopping the imports,” he said.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president Donald Khumalo said they were not consulted when the Memorandum of Understanding between Botswana and Zimbabwe over the cattle deal was signed last year.

“We would have preferred a scenario where we would have importation of heifers to be given to farmers to rebuild their herds. Bringing cattle from outside the country for direct slaughter does not help Zimbabwe economically at all,” he said.

The programme is said to have brought life to the government-owned CSC which was on the verge of collapse.

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