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Alba Iulia
Monday, April 5, 2021

Government bans the importation of onion and potatoes from outside Zambia

Economy Government bans the importation of onion and potatoes from outside Zambia

The government has banned the importation of onion and potatoes from outside Zambia.

Ministry of agriculture permanent secretary Songowayo Zyambo says there are enough onions and potatoes grown locally to meet national demand.

The move is meant to empower local farmers in order for them to establish available market for their produce.

Meanwhile, Farmers in Eastern Province have embraced the development justifying that even them have the capacity to produce quality crops to sustain the local market.
James Chalwe a farmer established in Katete district of Eastern Province told Smart Eagles in an interview that the move has been long overdue considering that farmers have for a long time shown capacity to sustain the market.

“This means a lot in our advocacy to prioritize locally produced products and government should be commended because this has been our cry.We have been expanding our yields and we have been hoping to get access to the market and this is an answered prayer” Mr Chalwe said.

He has therefore called on government to put in place strict monitoring measures that will make the pronouncement a success for the local farmers.

Mr Chalwe has since appealed to all local farmers to show capacity in order to avoid shortages of the two commodities.

“We need as farmers to make sure we prove ourselves that we are capable to flood the market so that we instill confidence in our capacity to locally produce and supply to the expectations of the market demand” he added.

28 COMMENTS

    • Also they remove a few potatoes from a 10kg bag and sell under weight as 10kg to unsuspecting public. Do you think a customer moves with a scale to confirm?

  1. And what do you think the consumers will think about this, when prices for onions and potatoes will double? Typical PF decision without thinking about the consequences.

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  2. Good move. People are definately on safer with local products because a lot of imported foods are genetically modified. At the same time, the economy is strengthened because the country spends less on imports.

  3. Its all good and true to celebrate and welcome this move but will the local farmer have the capacity and consistency to supply a nationwide chain store like Shoprite…has the govt put in incentives for the farmer and policies for the RSA supermarkets to work with local farmers. People don’t even know that there are a dozen varieties of potatoes used for different kinds of foods like chipping, boiling, grilling, salads, wedges etc.

  4. Wait till the complain to SADC or COMESA and govt will quickly reverse this ban like they did with cooking oil…in the UK the govt encourages Supermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Aldi. Lidl, Sainsbury etc to work with commercial farmers to meet their specifications ….its okay for the Zambian govt to blanket ban importation but what are they doing in reducing the cost of packaging, refrigeration and production in Zambia? These are hypermarkets, that deal in “Just in time” produce which is is a methodology aimed primarily at reducing times within the production system as well as response times from suppliers and to customers created by Japanese automobile giant Toyota.

  5. GRZ needs to put price caps on those products to protect the consumers…

    We remember what happened when GRZ banned imported cooking oils ……the Indian and Lebanese manufacturers in Zambia doubled their prices overnight…..

  6. Interesting! Of course a positive policy move but then it’s like this government decision has only invited unforeseen bottle necks by those it intends to help and are asking government to do more! People do not see opportunities offering for income generation and employment. Investments for cottage industries and value addition and there is always a lot of ideas that do arise in a supply chain! Let Zambians stop bland simple recipe thinking at times as for example the onions and potatoes can be processed into other finished products beyond dicing onions for stews and boiling or frying potatoes! Anyone tried crisp fried onion rings as a side snack?

  7. Without competition local farmers will hike prices of these commodities. It was a good move to empower local farmers but at the same time government should have introduced a floor price just like maize in order for farmers not to exploit consumers.

  8. Ba Miles Mulenga, where did you learn your English? The word “importation” exists!!! Check your dictionary.

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