Border closed for eight crops as farmers grow

Namibia’s nascent horticultural sector continues to satisfy local demand for some produce, resulting in the border being closed for the importation of eight of the 20 crops on the special controlled products list from 1 to 31 July.

Only five crops can be imported without restrictions during the month, while seven crops can be imported on a pro rata basis.

According to a notice to all horticultural traders issued by Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) chief executive Fidelis Mwazi on 25 June, the border will be closed for the importation of all types and sizes of beetroot, butternut, cabbage and English cucumber, except for the exclusions.

“The border is also closed for the importation of onion, pumpkin, sweet potato and round tomato,” said Mwazi.

He said the border is closed in line with the Agronomic Industry Act and the Namibian Horticulture Market Share Promotion Scheme rules and regulations to protect local producers from competition from cheap imports and to allow them the market space to grow.

Namibia recently celebrated achieving 55% self-sufficiency in food production.

The government is encouraging more people to grow food for their own consumption and recently rolled out a drought-relief programme for farmers.

According to Mwazi, the border remains open for the importation of carrot, potato washed, water melon, sweet melon and sweetcorn without restriction, although the 47% market share promotion (MSP) applies.

The MSP allows traders to be issued permits to import produce.

NAB kept the border open for the importation of these crops, because local producers cannot satisfy demand.

Where producers are able to meet part of the local demand, Mwazi allowed the importation of produce on a pro rata basis.

He allowed the importation of 15% of all sizes of jam tomato and 20% importation of cocktail tomato, spinach and gem squash, except for the exclusions.

“The importation of lettuce (iceberg) has been set at 30% for the month of July while that of all types of green pepper and coloured pepper has been set at 50%, except for the exclusions,” said Mwazi.

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