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Current Position:Home » News » General News » Topic

Zambian farmers push for regulation of South African potato imports

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-07-04  Views: 4
Core Tip: Zambia and South Africa may be perfectly at peace, but farmers on either side of the Limpopo River - the border between the two countries - may be engaged in a trade war.
Zambia and South Africa may be perfectly at peace, but farmers on either side of the Limpopo River - the border between the two countries - may be engaged in a trade war.

Around a table in the boardroom at the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) offices members discussed the state of the potato industry, and a bit of onions and tomatoes. This is a fruits and vegetable working group, formulated to lobby Government to protect the interests of local farmers from cheaper vegetable imports.

What is currently worrying the farmers is cheaper imports of potatoes from South Africa that have flooded the local market. According to the farmers, South African potato markets are currently over supplied due to a bumper harvest in the Eastern Freestate on the back of good rains. Antony Barker, director for Buya Bamba Limited:

“I have investigated the issues as these potatoes are spilling over into our markets and the market information is that this will continue until the end of August.”

“The Zambian growers cannot compete at these levels and are already selling at below cost of production. The South African farmers are also selling below their costs at the moment.”

Antony Barker: “The request to regulate imports into the country is of utmost importance, as the Zambian market is a lot smaller than the markets from which imported potatoes are being brought, hence the Zambian market is extremely sensitive to oversupply.”
 
keywords: potatoes
 
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