Imported fruits, vegies deprive local farmer revenue-SAFAD

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 05:57:46 +0000



ZAMBIA is importing US$42 million worth of agriculture produce while local  farmers are missing out on opportunities that their foreign counterparts are taking advantage of, the Small Scale Farmers for Development Agency (SAFADA) Director Boyd Moobwe has observed.

Mr Moobwe said that Zambian farmers were capable of supplying the quantity and quality of fruits and vegetables that were being imported in the country.

He said that Government should create an enabling market environment that would allow local farmers to supply their produces to major chain stores that rely on imports from foreign farmers.

Mr Moobwe was reacting to a latest BBC report that indicated that the Zambia market was flooded with imported vegetables worth over US$ 42 million.

He told the Daily Nation that the US$ 42 million of imported vegetables was a lost opportunity for Zambian farmers as they would have been the ones who had benefited from that.

Mr Moobwe, however, said that Government needed to put up deliberate policies that supported small scale farmers.

“With the right support, Zambian farmers have the potential to supply the fruits and vegetables that foreign farmers are taking advantage of. There is need for deliberate policies that open up the market to them.

“That US$ 42 million is something that our farmers could have benefited from since they are capable of supplying to these major chain stores,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Moobwe reiterated that the money that was being made from the imported fruits and vegetables was being repatriated to develop their own countries.

He said that it was the same money that would have ensured development in the country and uplifted the lives of the local farmers. And Mr Moobwe warned that inviting foreign farmers to invest in the country would undermine the efforts of local farmers. He explained that the country should strive to produce its own food and increasing the market for local farmers.

Mr Moobwe said that SAFADA was currently engaging all agricultural stakeholders to support horticulture and sustainable marketing of agricultural rural products.



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