Kolonkwaneng — China will start to import Botswana beef, mutton, lamb, chevon and game meat in the first half of 2021, says Chinese Ambassador to Botswana, Dr Zhao Yanbo.
Speaking in Khuis on Tuesday shortly after the launch of the construction of the Tsabong multi-species abattoir, Dr Zhao said Botswana and China enjoy strong bilateral relations.
He added that the relationship was solidified by President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s attendance of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2018.
The ambassador said China, the second largest economy in the world, which has been able to eradicate poverty according to United Nations standards, was a friend to Botswana, Africa and developing countries.
“We are against hegemony, we seek peace and development, common and fair development,” he said.
Launching the construction of the multi-species abattoir, President Masisi said it would play a significant role in marketing Botswana’s beef, mutton, lamb, chevon and game meat.
President Masisi also donated a ram to the Ditlhabi family in Kolonkwaneng.
Donating the ram at Lokgolong cattlepost, President Masisi encouraged farmers to use the rams to improve their breed.
He said the small stock initiative was in line with Vision 2036 as it would stimulate economic prosperity.
He noted that keeping small stock could also strengthen relations and build families in a myriad of ways.
He encouraged all to take small stock farming seriously and to commercialise it.
For his part, Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Mr Karabo Gare said the initiative could help boost small stock farmers.
He also said as the country readies for the export of small stock, quality and meeting international standards was critical.
He urged all Batswana to take the President’s small stock initiative seriously as it could be the answer to poverty alleviation.
He said the ministry would continue to offer training, ranging from small stock breeding to meat processing, to ensure that Batswana maximised on the small stock value chain.
For his part, Vision 2036 coordinator, Mr Christopher Molomo commended President Masisi for living the vision pillar of achieving prosperity for all through human and social development and sustainable economic development.
He called on the Ditlhabi family to take care of the ram so that it could improve their small stock. He also urged them to keep records and to share it with those who were less privileged.
Mr Gabriel Ditlhabi and his wife appreciated the ram, which they said would help to improve their breed.
He decried the lack of land for breeding his stock.
He said he needed to be allocated land so that he could survey for underground water that would help him to breed his stock.
President Masisi was also accompanied by Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Resources, Mr Lefoko Moagi, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Setlhabelo Modukanele, Kgalagadi South MP, Mr Sam Brooks and senior government officials.
Source : BOPA