Only potatoes, lettuce can be imported in January

Potatoes and lettuce (iceberg) are the only horticultural crops that may be imported into the country without restriction for January, although the 47% market share promotion (MSP) scheme applies.

According to a notice to all horticultural traders issued by Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) chief executive Fidelis Mwazi, only 50% of all types of sweet potato can be imported on a pro rata basis, barring exclusions.

According to Mwazi, this is in line with the Agronomic Industry Act and the Namibian horticulture MSP scheme rules and regulations to protect local producers against competition from cheap and sometimes substandard imports.

The MSP concept revolves around substituting importing commodities that can be cultivated locally, and relies heavily on traders of fresh produce to buy 47% Namibian products first before importing from outside the borders.

Traders who do not meet this requirement are not issued permits to import produce.

Mwazi also said the closure of the border for importation of 17 of the 20 crops on the special import list shows that Namibia’s nascent horticulture sector is growing and able to supply the country’s needs for January.

“This notice is subject to change and traders will be notified accordingly,” he said.

Topping the list of crops which cannot be imported in January, apart from exclusions, are beetroot, butternut, cabbage, carrot and English cucumber.

“The border is also closed for the importation of coloured pepper, green pepper, gem squash and onion,” said the notice.

Also closed for importation are pumpkin, jam, cocktail/cherry/mini plum and round tomato, as the country has produced enough for its needs.

“Watermelon, sweet melon and sweetcorn as well as spinach can also not be imported for the month due to adequate supplies,” said Mwazi.

– email: matthew@namiban.com.na

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!