The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) Maun Plant has experienced a steady growth in slaughtering since it started its operations in 2010. The plant’s Livestock Procurement Officer Poeletso Serole confirmed this in his presentation to the Maun Administrative Authority sub council session last week. Slaughter figures from 2014 indicates that a total of 17,336 cattle were slaughtered during the year at 90 cattle per day – a 28 percent increase from the previous year and a 90.3 percent performance at a target of 20,000 cattle. Serole said in 2015 a total of 18,058 cattle were slaughtered – a growth of 6.3 percent by plant during that year at 100 cattle per day. The target for that year was 22,000 cattle to be slaughtered. In the same year live cattle trade also injected a sale of 6600 cattle from A2c zone that were sold to Zimbabwe. He, however, explained that live trade could not continue because of the terms and conditions of the trade. “The condition of the trade was that our partners should pay upfront and this meant that animals could only be send as and when the payment has been received,” he said. He said the plant underwent an upgrading exercise in August 2015, installing an automation system for the carcasses to move automatically from one station to another. The chiller space was also increased to accommodate 120 carcasses. After the upgrade a total of 20,040 cattle were slaughtered in 2016 at a rate of 120 animals per day. The target for that year was 25,000 cattle. He said this year their target is to slaughter 29, 160 cattle. As from January 16 to date 17,383 cattle have been killed. Serole said the tonnage production is expected at 6,000 tonnes at the end of the year and is currently standing at 3,400 tonnes from the start of the year. The plant has increased its buying price to P19.50 per kilogramme for any cattle that weighs above 180 kilogramme. Serole said when the plant opened in 2010 their main market for the product was cannery. As times went on we were able to penetrate to other parts of Botswana, he said, adding that this has caused the plant to sell the products at the price which attract local customers with some to coming all the way from Gaborone to buy their products. On foreign market he said they have received orders from as far as Vietnam, Kuwait and Mozambique. Serole, however, complained that the plant continues to face break downs which hamper production during the week. Another challenge, Serole said was lack of market as a large percentage of the meat they produce is sold within Botswana only. He also said frequent droughts in the areas have reduced the quality of their products drastically. Frequent outbreaks of Foot and mouth disease has also denied them a chance to sell to lucrative markets.