By NATION REPORTER
FAILURE to reduce on importations of agricultural commodities which can be supplied locally will be tantamount to economic sabotage, the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has said.
ZNFU spokesperson, Calvin Kaleyi said reducing on importations of agricultural commodities which could be supplied locally would have a profound positive impact on Zambia’s trade balance.
Mr Kaleyi said a positive impact on the trade balance would ease deterioration of the local currency and guarantee some level of stability, which would yield benefits as farmers import inputs and other requirements to support production processes.
He said in a statement that the continued importation of commodities that could be produced locally erodes jobs locally.
Mr Kaleyi said the advent of Covid-19 had curtailed most jobs locally and everyone was turning to agriculture because people would always eat.
He said Zambia had capacity to produce all its domestic food and manufacturing requirements if minds were put to it and the farmers geared to deliver the desired primary products.
“It is for this reason that we support the buy Zambia campaign and are available to partner with off-takers. ZNFU is confident that producers are capable of expanding production because there are examples where this has happened such as the wheat industry where import substitution has happened,” said Mr Kaleyi.
Mr Kaleyi implored the Ministry of Agriculture to remain resolute in its policy implementation and not to be swayed in any way because regulation of imported agriculture products should go beyond onions and potatoes to include all commodities which had comparative advantage to produce.
He said all farmers needed were the right policy incentives and a conducive business environment to attain the realization of the potential that exists but on paper.