The Farmers Development Agency (SAFADA) says the suspension of the importation of potatoes has caused panic on the local market because supply of the commodity is not adequate to meet the demand.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Boyd Moobwe said the potatoes quickly run-out on the local market adding that this is leading to an increase in the price of the commodity.
Mr. Moobwe told ZANIS in an interview that there’s need for government to revisit the decision and make the sale of potatoes competitive.
He said that the sale of potatoes should be left open to importers as well as to the local farmers.
“Local farmers get busy and improve their production and the quality of their produce when they see the quality and quantities of the imported product. This allows competition and farmers tend to perform better when they see how their fellow farmers are producing,” Mr. Moobwe said.
He noted that the Ministry of Agriculture should look into the matter as the suspension has affected the farmers locally.
“I’m not trying to condemn the suspension, but it is important that local farmers participate in the market,” he said.
Mr. Moobwe said that there has not been any active transaction since the suspension adding that the market is slow due to inadequate local supply of potatoes.
He said small scale farmers should also participate in the supply of products adding that it’s only the commercial farmers supplying the market.
Meanwhile, Mr. Moobwe has advised government to announce the crop forecast in good time to prepare farmers for the marketing season.
He expressed worry on the late announcement of the crop forecast by government adding that the delays lead to an ineffective market.
“Government should advise farmers on the next market season as well as the crop forecast in time to enable them to prepare because farmers are always advised randomly,” Mr. Moobwe said.
He said that there has been poor communication between the government and the farmers which has led to market failure.
Here we go again……..
When they import, you cry……..
When they suspend imports, you cry………
Very disjointed , disorganised farmers Union……..
Are these not the same guys who complained when importation was in play? You said the local farmers are able to meet the local demand. Just encourage local farmers to produce more potatoes and am sure they have the capacity to do so. Just create a conducive market were all can sale with reasonable prices.
And the Ministry of Agriculture just followed the advice from the Unions, WITHOUT any investigations. Typical government behaviour, always the same. Ditto with onions – after the ban prices have TRIPLED!
Farmers Union bosses and minister of agriculture should be sacked…………
How can you fail to marshel market saturation with local potatoes in a fertile country like zambia where unemployed is so high ???????
The president needs to make changes and dismissals at the ministry of agriculture……
Everyone there is preoccupied with maizemeal and farmers input funding……..
Zambia needs to be self sufficient in crops like poatatoes, onions , cabbages………
And all types of fruits………..
In a country rich in land , the most water bodies and high youth unemployment, importing of produce is pathetic , sad and a dismal failure by the concerned ministry………..
Heads need to roll………….
Next it’s onions…..
No guys , hold your fire, let’s analyze this article, first of al, who is complaining here? It is the farmers- NO! It is a ka one SAFADA president. Secondly what is safada as I ve never heard of them? & I can see here many people think safada is ZNFU, no! It is not. It is jst another bogus private organisation with a wrong judgement. To those in Zambia, since when can tomatoes , onions, potatoes be in short supply pa zed? Since when? Be realistic and ask one or two Zambian farmers they ll tell you the opposite of what this Coockroach is saying. This is another pf cadres with aim of consign confusing .
Look at what he is saying also “Potatoes shd be left for importation also”instd of exportation” and local farmers shd participate in local production”. Clearly no sense at all, he wants us to import so that himself can make profits with deals they pf signed with big chain stores for kickbacks at the expense of our products. Besides, all our local products including maize have always been going to waste due to lack of buyers. So what’s this roach talking abt, it’s becos they were the ones importing those patatoes with foreigners.
And to those chain stores complaining of Zambian products being of low quality. Ok other than grapes & apples, which other foods does South Africa produce that are of high quality? Which ones? Cos they inject there chicken with human hormones to grow over sized & in only 2weeks they are obesity which they use obesity tablets on chickens. There parities are also injected with hormones, onions/tomatoes too. No wonder people here are always fat. So Gvnmnt must now start testing these products for quality – real and trust me, all chain stores will fail. Any real vegetable is small sized and lots of flavor/test. And not those pnp tasteless veggies.
To import or not to import. Can we be serious just for once. And the Government because votes followed blindly.
What is the story saying?Suspension of the importing of potatoes is unnerving local farmers?? Why? And which potatoes? Our kalembula ones or the Irish potatoes?
there’s thousands of tons in coldrooms and there are hundreds of hectares growing so apparently he doesn’t know what he’s talking about . the ban protects the farmers for dumping practices and gives the opportunity to grow more in zambia . if someone argues differently just think what he has to gain for himself by removing the ban ? it is definitely not in de zambian farmers interest so why? guess!
A representation of cartels that have kept Zambia a net importer of everything since independence. Let the local potato production industry be allowed to grow without facing unfair competition from foreign produce dumpers. This way Zambian youths will see opportunities in farming , make profit and be in gainful employed,.
Bane , don’t be cheated, iam in South Africa myself and the white people here admire our non gmo grown foods. So when I hear Zambian foods are of low quality – which ones, becos as far as I know you guys don’t inject your potatoes or onions or chickens(you have your chickens feed for them to grow faster, here chickens are injected with needles of steroids) esp meat-don’t even try buy foreign rather stick to yo Zambian beef/chicken etc. cos u don’t want to know – trust me. You guys are organic and here everything is chemical.
Instead of puting a ban on onion and potatoes, they should have slapped duty on them so they compete commercially with local products.
South African population whites 5.6 million Blacks 53 million. Why focus on white people when the market is dominated by blacks?
What type of agency is this that has a CEO and Founder …any foooool can register any name in Zambia like this Boyd Moobwe. You should be celebrating for farmers that a window has opened for them but all not their representative just a biefcase organisation with no authority.
No no please, this is a golden opportunity for local farmers to scale up their low levels of production and meet the product demand shortfall. Government did the right thing to suspend importation of potatoes and should not be blamed. High demand for the commodity is a good call
on farmers to run and cease the opportunity and not complain. Quality assessment is a baby of the Ministry of Agriculture. Ubunang’ani nabo awe kantu!
I Want to respond to someone who say that when government impose a ban farmers union cry
if government left the ban again farmers union cry.
i challenge those who post such comments to find out who exactly is crying
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