Harvard Professor condemns Zambia’s ban on Fruits and Vegetables imports

79
5,174 views
Harvard University Professor Calestous Juma
Harvard University Professor Calestous Juma

Respected Harvard University Professor Calestous Juma says banning imports of some vegetables is a blunt tool for stimulating local production of vegetables.

Professor Juma who is Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University said such bans often triggers unnecessary trade reprisals unless there’s evidence of health concerns.

Professor Juma said such bans are also a poor substitute for measures such as investments in local infrastructure that would enable local producers to compete favourably.

He was speaking in an interview with Conversation Africa’s Samantha Spooner about the impact this will have on African countries and their agricultural sectors.

The Zambian government last week banned the imports of some farm produce as a way of promoting the growth of the agriculture sector.

But Professor Juma said, “it’s also important to take into account the political context that leads to bans. Countries like Zambia, for example, don’t have a long agricultural tradition and are under pressure to protect the emerging sector.”

“Zambia historically specialised in mineral exports and relied on food imports from neighbouring countries and international markets. It sought to diversify its economy when global copper markets tanked late last century and the economy collapsed. As a recent entrant into the green vegetable export market, Zambia has previously faced phytosanitary barriers to its exports,” he said.

“Given the circumstances it’s clear why the government would want to protect local producers. But the ban is unlikely to result in the desired outcomes except to provide relief for existing producers. Bans are usually not permanent and so do serve as incentives to encourage new investment that may take a long time to show results.”

Professor Juma said imports are not necessarily bad in themselves adding that they are part of a global system that is theoretically built on the principle of reciprocity.

“This includes the expectation of reasonable balance of trade between the partners. Quite often bans are motivated by imbalances in trade relations.

Banning imports simply because one is seeking to protect local agriculture – and without just cause – is generally a poor approach to achieving food security. In many cases, imbalances in agricultural trade exist because African countries haven’t made the necessary investments – such as storage facilities and capacity building in international trade practices – that allow them to become important players in the global economy. Therefore, imports and suppressed local production tend to reinforce each other,” he stated.

He said even when countries increase production, they still have to contend with the challenges of breaking long-term import contracts or violating international trading rules.

79 COMMENTS

  1. +10
    -2
    vote

    I Quote “Zambia has previously faced phytosanitary barriers to its exports,” Not from me and there you go. Naturally Dirty

    • vote

      Professor whoever is not very clever.
      Shoprite and similar outlets are not here to serve the interests of ZAMBIANS but that of South Africa. It is foolish to let these super markets sell produce from RSA AT THE EXPENSE OF OURS.
      GOVERNMENT SHOULD GO FURTHER. STOP THE BUILDING OF SHOPPING MALLS BUT OPEN UP FACTORIES FOR LONG TERM SUSTAINABILITY AND VALUE ADDITION.

    • +28
      -3
      vote

      He has no locus standi in the matter. We regard him as an economic refugee. He should go to Zambia and see how farmers are hardworking. For all their sweat, the super markets are shunning products which Zambians have traditionally bought from local markets. They import tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and the like from neighbouring country for the same quality of vegetables.

    • +14
      0
      vote

      Our products are going t waste at various markets all because the super market chains prefer to buy from Bazungu’s. You can not export any food items to SA buy they export us Bondwe. BONDWE is this cha serious?

    • +13
      0
      vote

      Let the professor tell that to Donald Trump.

      Right now, in the same country where Harvard is, where that professor is working after memorising a number of theories and writting papers, citing other theorists, Trump is revising trade agreements with all Asian countries to ensure imports of certain goods is discouraged.

      Why is the professor failing to be relevant in his dueling country? Is he fearing that his fellow professors will challenge his views and embarass him?

      I have checked, there is no writing by the said Juma regarding trump’s trade policies.

      So does he think he can only be relevant to Zambia, or does he want use Zambia to practice the skills he has read?

      Does he think there are no educated Zambians to think through these issues?

      Professor you are wrong, the…

    • +10
      0
      vote

      Professor you are wrong, the only way you promote the local industry is to create the environment for people to see opportunity.

      This is how you promote entrepreneurship, not telling people ‘you improve and compete’

      Go to RSA, and find out if they import vehicles from Japan, go to India and find out if the import cars from other countries? After you have done so cone and talk to us.

    • +3
      0
      vote

      Kennedy School of Government professor Calestous Juma did not disclose his connection to biotechnology giant Monsanto in a December 2014 paper supporting genetically modified organisms.

      The paper, titled “Global Risks of Rejecting Agricultural Biotechnology,” was published on the website of the Genetic Literacy Project, and argues that agriculture should be “viewed as a knowledge-based entrepreneurial activity” and that African policymakers should “consider whether overregulation of GMOs is warranted.”

      According to The Boston Globe, Monsanto regulatory policy and scientific affairs head Eric Sachs suggested the topic to Juma in August 2013 email correspondence, including recommendations for the brief’s contents and title.

    • +2
      -2
      vote

      Zambians zambians. When are you ever going to stop getting emotional over sense? We must be asking ourselves why we prefer anything foreign above local rather than attacking an innocent man. Why can’t we for example campaign against buying foreign goods above Local? We believe too much in politicians to our own ruin. Okay ban imports and you will be eating zambian fruits with maggots inside while politicians continue to eat imported stuff. If you can’t compete on the international market then you need to improve or quit. That’s the gist of the matter.

    • +1
      -1
      vote

      The professor is a perfect example of a miseducated african. And we think with such low caliber thinkers, our continent can move forward. He is just a tool in the white supremacist world,where his education only serves to perpetuate white supremacy over everyone else. I would love to debate this professor one on one and perhaps,maybe,i can save his poor sould from indoctrination he calls education.

    • +1
      0
      vote

      The professor is a perfect example of a miseducated african. And we think with such low caliber thinkers, our continent can move forward. He is just a tool in the white supremacist world,where his education only serves to perpetuate white supremacy over everyone else. I would love to debate this professor one on one and perhaps,maybe,i can save his poor soul from indoctrination he calls education.

    • vote

      So no more Pomegranates, plums and dates ayi? I know this PF thinking. Only NDIMWA, YEMBE, AMAPELA, AMACHUNGWA and IBONDWE ka? And the price will go up.

  2. +21
    -2
    vote

    So, Prof, can you disclose who funded your research which concluded that banning imports is is a blunt tool for stimulating production?

    With due respects, high tariffs used by developed countries is basically a tool used to ban imports to stimulate their local growths and protect their local markets.

    High tariffs are everywhere and today Donald Trump’s America first Policy is anchored on banning imports , be it labour or goods or services.

    Being a professor, did you even follow the recent G20 meeting of Ministers that collapsed with no communique on Free Trade?

    So Prof , before you remove the speck in the eye of Zambia, take the log out of Big abusers of capitalism .

    I’m MMD Chief Bootlicker and I endorse the Government Ban

  3. +4
    -1
    vote

    I that the Professor was trying to discuss the merits and demerits of import bans and forced trade policies. This is normal discourse. And more importantly he is not making any revommendations. But as usual reporters in summarising will pick out and feed readers with either their opinion or sentational items. I would rather see the report for myself and enjoy and learn one or two things about international trade practices. Where can we find your paper dear Prof?

    • +1
      -1
      vote

      Spot on, Professor Juma, Too many angry folk in this country, they just insult before understanding the point of the matter.
      The economies of production are the biggest issue hurting the Zambian farmer most. Remember that the Zambian farmers diesel water pump, generator etc pays road tax
      on the fuel to run yet they never use the roads.

  4. +1
    -1
    vote

    In short read reporters’ summariser news with a pinch of salt, they may have space constraints or are opiniated.
    Exception is when reading statements by UPNDonkeys, they are usually quoted verbatim but when the truth backfires they will claim that there are fake letters attributed to when we all know what they stand. Just at the latest UPNDonkey MPs saga, Hh donkey himself defended the boycott instruction and in the night he instructs Katuka donkey to deny it when now faced faced with expulsion of its 58 MPs except one. Can Katuka override Donkey hh?
    Come on PF don’t be too daft, take the donkeys on and teach them a few political lessons and make it the last time any donkey will boycott ANY parliamentary seating.
    THE DONKEYS HAVE EXPOSED THEMSELVES….kikikikikikikiki

    • +7
      -1
      vote

      Reminder of news from state house.
      President Lungu’s economic diplomacy has continued yielding results. He is currently in Saudi Arabia where he is signing big deals that include:
      1. Oil deals which will see the cost of fuel go down to as low as K5. 5. per litre. Negotiations have been going on and finally the deal will be signed.

      2. Funding of 10 more irrigation dams. Zambia is fast becoming the food busket for central and southern africa. President Lungu wants to expand investment in irrigation.

      3. Funding of phase two 600MW solar plant. The 600 MW phase one is being funded by World bank through IDC. Hon Dora…

      4. The president has pledged to create 500 000 jobs by end of 2016.
      ……..He has also opened mulugushi textiles with the immediate employment of 300 workers this rasing…

    • +5
      -1
      vote

      Eehhhhh Mr Terrible..

      Pleas don’t take cover.

      Can you explain when we will see those promises ????

      Or at least put our minds at ease by saying something.

    • +5
      -1
      vote

      But Mr Terrible ba chembele…..

      Taking cover so early.

      Hiding is not a solution Mr Terrible. You can say something regarding lungus visit to Saudi just to reassure us you are OK.

    • +2
      0
      vote

      Supporters from both PF and UPND camps need to call a truce on personal attacks for the sake of benificial debate.

      If a topic has nothing to do with either party we should avoid personal attacks and debate for the sake of our country.

      God bless zambia.

  5. +11
    0
    vote

    So Prof we should be allowing tomatoes from SA to come in? The ban is ONLY on fruit and vegetables that are READILY AVAILABLE LOCALLY, right now there is a surplus in tomatoes- so many tomatoes that the price has actually dropped! Pick and Pay, Shoprite, Spar etc should buy locally so as to make the local market more competitive and economically viable for the farmers to sustain themselves and grow- if these grocery chains continue to source from SA then we are letting our own farmers down!

  6. +1
    0
    vote

    The Zimbabwean and South African farmers who are farming in Zambia have influenced the ban. The ssf cannot sustain the high demand for tomatoes and other vegetables

    • vote

      Good influence….now those Chinese fish farmers who send fish to zambia must face a ban which they can get around by moving some production to zambia….and ban all importation of GRZ uniforms. To hell with the PF financial backers who hold those contracts…

    • vote

      Am seeing a terrible trend with kenyan academics. There was professor ali mazrui who did a tv history documentary series called the africans. He too like this professor had a warped view of things which did not truly reflect the african;where he has been and where else he must still go. Kenya poseniko amano. Another is barack obama, who served as a white mans pawn. Talking about ifyabupuba ati homosexuality.

  7. +5
    -2
    vote

    The reason is simple, we are the consumers of these imported fruits and vegetables, so why can’t we consume our locally cultivated vegetables? After all its not like the ban will be in place for ever, it is a temporally measure which should force these outlets to start stalking local vegetable and fruits. There plenty of farmers who are losing out because of importation of frozen fruits instead of consuming fresh vegetables devoid of additives. Remember the issue of Zambeef importing embalmed fimbombo? We should strive to promote our own.

    • +2
      -2
      vote

      You are spot on Bamwine!I totally agree with you. We must not keep importing things that we are able to produce locally. We have got very favorable climatic conditions for cultivating vegies and fruits.

  8. +3
    -4
    vote

    Even this Kenyan Havard professor knows that we’re protecting Zambian mediocrity rather than letting our substandard farmers & food processors face the full force of high int’l standards.Ditto many other industries in Zed.

    Up your game Zambians ,high phytosanitary standards ,market research ,competition and aggressive marketing will make you better .Forget the self imposed wound of protectionism.

    • +2
      -2
      vote

      ENKA, you are such an ***** and out of touch. There is nothing better about tomatoes and mangoes coming from outside Zambia.

  9. vote

    foolish “professor”… let him eat his theories… most of these “professors” are so dull and useless…

  10. +2
    0
    vote

    All western countries practised protectionist policies to develop their young industries.

  11. 0
    -1
    vote

    If a professor says X does not exist, then X does not exist. There is no need for foolish arguments. Foolish arguments are an expression of foolish pride. The win-win scenario is a more acceptable outcome. The win-win is achieved by juxtaposing local produce with imported produce. The consumer will make a rational choice between the two products. The consumer looks for quality affordable products. The assumption that consumers will automatically buy imported produce over local produce is not wrong. It presupposes that the consumers are not reasonable individuals. They lack logic; they lack economic; they lack common sense. It is callous to make sweeping political statements about consumers. Look after consumers and consumers will look after business. Business is none of your business.

  12. vote

    Prof not in right Locus. Thats why it has been discissed that the G20 should discuss Protectionism practiced by the Big Economies. Now Prof give us your comment on that and leave a small player like Zambia to manage its competences. Bye

  13. +2
    0
    vote

    Our farmers are complaining of lack of market of their produce so what do we do? We support or ignore them?

    • vote

      Great question. Farmers operate efficiently when interference is minimized. Interference in matters that concern farmers (i.e. agriculture) takes various forms. These include command policies by government (like the protectionist one being rushed); fixing prices by government without considering the cost of production; distortion of market prices by unsustainable politically motivated subsidies; weak public institutions generally; weak private institutions generally; ignorance in certain key players in the sector; disrespect for technical advise provided by technocrats; use of guess work, approximation and disruption of functional procedures by criminal elements (such as vandalism); etc.

  14. vote

    Mr professor, i condemn PF for its violence and oppression of man by man as comrade KK to say. But on this one, i am with PF. we have better natural fruit in Zambia and there’s no need to destroy our local industry with foreign fruit which we have

  15. +1
    0
    vote

    Mr terrible be christlike in your statement. Calling others donkeys is sinning against GOD. I believe some of your relatives support UPND and PF…….
    Don’t worship an individual…. Nima politics chamber…..
    As for me I fear to call anyone a bad name . Tone down and two wrongs wont things right. If someone insult, don’t insult back.

  16. +1
    0
    vote

    I mean two wrongs wont make things right. I have vowed never to insult anyone.
    We have heaven to win and hell to lose

  17. +3
    -1
    vote

    The prof is not saying anything ..its like reasearching a particular topic and you refer to a text book for generic pros and cons!!

  18. +1
    -1
    vote

    I agree that there is no infrastructure in Zambia for sustaiened production and supply of any agricultural products on a large scale. If a supermarket chain were to demand say 20 kg of mango everyday, yes, there will be suply in January and perhaps February but nothing thereafter. Unfortunately modern consumers demand consistence and predictable quality. During summer there is an illusion of plentiful supply of greens. Watch now that the rains are over. Yes, Lusaka may have supply of veges from farmers around the city. How about Chipata, Solwezi, Kaputa, Lundazi, Kasama? The government and the Ministry responsible for agricultural production has absolutely no idea how industrial and commercial agriculture can be developed. Truth may sometimes hurt. Professor Juma is right!

  19. +1
    0
    vote

    This happens when too much research is isolated from the actual context, who said Prof knows it all? The Zambian government is on the right path and must be supported. Why should we remain a market for outsiders? Industrialisation is about taking some of these unpopular policies to grow our infant industries

  20. +1
    0
    vote

    Bloggers.. forget your party politics, how many small scale zambian farmers are geared to wait kver a month for payment by large super markets., the supermarkets reject fruit/ vegetables not upto their standards .
    Are the farmers registerd and cleared by ZRA. They will have to pay tax on the money tbey make from selling to large supermarkets, they will have to have bank accounts with bank charges and new tpin so that ZRA can catch those not paying and freeze their accounts until psyment is received. If they have an unpaid debt then ZRA can liquidate their farms.
    Protectionism is what zambia actuslly practices. We have duty rates from 15% to 25% then vat.16%
    Tnis how it works, cost $10.00 duty 25% = $2.50 then you add cost plus duty = $12.50 then you apply 16% =$2.00
    So on $10 product…

    • +1
      0
      vote

      What are you saying? If what I suspect you are saying, you have absolutely no point. Zambia has a lot of registered companies with ZRA of pedigree who can buy off produce from the small farmers and resell to the chain stores. This happens in the maize market. It can be done as well in the fruit and veg space.

  21. vote

    Forgive the Prof. He was just thinking aloud. Slip of the mind. Prof. be more circumspect next time before you speak out on forums like this.

  22. +1
    0
    vote

    Not upto speed on SADC but assuming there is no or reduced dutybetween member countries then government will now be collecting revenue , from Zambians, that they werent get by having imports from SADC members.
    Shoprite etc like fruit to be slighty underripe so that it lasts longer in store. Zambian farmers pick tomatoes ripe becoz pipo who buy at market can afford 3or 4 tomatoes at time. Limited storage, limited money.
    Farmers will be offered a price from shoprite , no variation on availability, so where will our farmers go when market price increases, yes to the markets and not supply shoprite. These stores want COMMITMENT.
    Read article about investment in storage packing etc, we dont have it

  23. 0
    -1
    vote

    Let the professor tell that to Donald Trump.

    Right now, in the same country where Harvard is, where that professor is working after memorising a number of theories and writting papers, citing other theorists, Trump is revising trade agreements with all Asian countries to ensure imports of certain goods is discouraged.

    Why is the professor failing to be relevant in his dueling country? Is he fearing that his fellow professors will challenge his views and embarass him?

    I have checked, there is no writing by the said Juma regarding trump’s trade policies.

    So does he think he can only be relevant to Zambia, or does he want use Zambia to practice the skills he has read?

    Does he think there are no educated Zambians to think through these issues?

    • vote

      Contd…

      Professor you are wrong, the only way you promote the local industry is to create the environment for people to see opportunity.

      This is how you promote entrepreneurship, not telling people ‘you improve and compete’

      Go to RSA, and find out if they import vehicles from Japan, go to India and find out if the import cars from other countries? After you have done so cone and talk to us.

  24. +2
    0
    vote

    While the ban was done in good faith, it could have been better to compel the dealers in these commodities to buy a certain percentage locally and supplement with the imported. We may see shortage of these commodities and result into price upward adjustments. This is a layman’s view. Whats you take?

    • vote

      That is true, but this requires hard work by relevant ministries not just bans and leave everything to market forces.
      GRZ needs to establish cooperatives where quality and reasonable prices are established.

      Without other GRZ intervention on price controlls zambian farmers will think they can get rich overnight by overcharging where there is no competition.

  25. vote

    From consumer viewpoint, it is better when I can buy things cheaper. For those who want to buy quality pineapples from SA, then put higher tariff. As predicted, if Zambian economy is better this year, then Kwacha will be stronger and it is a chance for Zambians to access cheaper foods from other countries. All agriculture related stakeholders need to be humble enough to review and strategize how to compete with neighboring countries.

  26. +2
    0
    vote

    South Africa cannot accept such imports from Zambia because they feel our products are inferior. SA can go to hell. The government has made a very progressive move. We need to support our farmers.

  27. +1
    0
    vote

    This is a colonial oriented research driven by desire to confine Zambia to perpetual dumping ground in order to enrich the west.

  28. vote

    Just because he is a Harvard Professor does not mean he has all the answers. He is just a teacher.

  29. +1
    0
    vote

    This professor is buried in piles of books he rarely sees the outside of his room, how is he expected to talk sense about vegetable farming?

  30. vote

    Let’s treat the professor contribution as his opinion even though the editor at LT used the wrong heading that the professor “condemned the ban on vegetable and fruit”. In the body of the article the professor gives pros and cons as well as practice in international trade and the use of trade bans. I do not see anywhere where he “condemns”. My opinion on the ban however is that it is good and well intended. I say this from the fact most of these South african chain stores simply want to import everything emfrom their own country even if Zambia can produce the vegies and fruits at least. South africans will always buy their own goods and services if not controlled. Even banks, when the Shoprites came they brought their own banks. Examples abound and every Zambian knows so I will not…

  31. vote

    I think he has a chip on his shoulders. Probably hugs Monstanto activities are at the back of this. Why would a country like Zambia encourage short life products like veggies to be allowed to compete with fresh Zambian producers grown at source? It makes no sense. We should import only the things we don’t/can’t grow ourselves. Every vegetable thrown away because citizens buy foreign goods is a waste.

    I dispute that we are recent entrants to Agricultural commerce. It’s just that we have more Zambians showing interest.

  32. vote

    FULL DISCLOSURE: Prof. Calestous Juma works at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. At least some of his funding comes from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    http://drclas.harvard.edu/people/calestous-juma

    Apparently prof. Calestous Juma is also “an outspoken advocate of GMOs”. Many of which are made by for instance Monsanto.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Calestous_Juma

    “”He directs the Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”

    https://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/calestous-juma

    The professor is promotes Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

  33. vote

    FULL DISCLOSURE: Prof. Calestous Juma works at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. At least some of his funding comes from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Apparently prof. Calestous Juma is also “an outspoken advocate of GMOs”. Many of which are made by for instance Monsanto.

    “”He directs the Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”

    The professor promotes Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

    BTW David Rockefeller passed away yesterday, at the age of 101.

  34. +1
    0
    vote

    This Professor has over-enjoyed MacDonalds and has lot touch with whats happening on the ground

  35. vote

    Don’t you worry about banning some selected vegies and fruits from south africa. They do the same thing for their people there, what did you think black empowerment means? Exactly the same and maybe even more serious.

  36. vote

    Clever thinking kelvin, now you put a middlrman in to sell to shoprite rather thsn direct selling.
    Typically zambian…..everybody makes a bit to the point the product is overpriced.

  37. vote

    It is very true that the so called intellectuals are the very reason as a country we fell to break out of the shell of poverty. I do not agree with the immature analysis of this professor. We all know that our colonial masters programmed Africans to produce what they did not consume and import what they consumed. That way of doing things is largely to blame for our situation today. We surely can not remain a nation that imports everything if we are serious with transforming the economy and the social well being of our people. Why should we import everything killing our local producers in the process? It makes me sad to walk into pick n pay in Lusaka and find no single local product on the shelves and freezers. Stop perpetuating this colonial thinking ba so called professed Atase!

  38. vote

    We have to crawl,walk and then run. We will never grow economically when we start thinking like proffesor Juma, we must start consuming Our own food if they are of low standards one day they will be of high quality because that is how they started.

  39. vote

    This man is masquarading as a professor at HARVARD , IWE THEIR IS NO BLACK PROFESSOR AT HARVARD AFTER OBAMA LOST THE 2016 ELECTIONS TO TRUMP, HOW CAN A BLACKMAN A TANZANIAN KENYAN FOR THAT MATTER BE ALLOWED TO TEACH WHITE PEOPLE AHHH..PLEASE DON’T JOKE WITH HARVARD THUS WHY THIS MAN MAYBE HE IS DOING INTERNSHIP THUS HOW HE CAN ISSUE SUCH A MISPLACED STATEMENT TO DISCOURAGE HIS NATIVE COUNTRY TANZANIA KENYA FROM IMPORTS

    • vote

      As of todate there are more than six Black Professors in the faculty of African & African American Studies alone not good enough though.

  40. +1
    0
    vote

    So no more Pomegranates, plums and dates ayi? I know this PF thinking. Only NDIMWA, YEMBE, AMAPELA NAMATUNGWA. Gosh.

Comments are closed.