Trade centre backs ban on fruit importation

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:53:30 +0000

BY MAILESI BANDA

 PROPER implementation of the ban on imported fruit and vegetables can stimulate eco-nomic growth in the agricultural sector, Centre for Trade and Policy Development (CTPD) acting executive director Isaac Mwaipopo has said.

But Mr Mwaipopo said Government should have consulted on how to effect the ban, adding that instituting a ban was not wrong as it would have spurred growth in the agri-culture sector.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Mwaipopo said local farmers had the capacity to meet the local demand for fruits and vegetables once given enough time to increase their production.

“Local producers are more than capable of delivering the local demand for fruits and veg-etables once given a proper time frame, what the farmer needs is a market and once the market is created more people will invest in the agriculture sector,’’ he said.

He said the ban was a good move and if implemented gradually it could create growth for the agriculture sector and enhance employment opportunities.

Mr Mwaipopo explained that Government should have consulted stakeholders on the possibility of the local fruits and vegetable production meeting the demand.

He said the market needed time to plan while a time frame for the implementation of the ban could have prepared potential investors in the sector to invest.

He called for consistency in policy implementation if the agriculture sector was to receive more investment.

“One of the things that investors look at before making an investment is the consistency in policy implementation without which the private sector does not invest, hence the need for Government to attract investment by having stable policies,’’ he said.

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