The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has backed the Zambian government in its intention to restrict the importation of onions and potatoes. ZNFU media and public relations officer, Calvin Kaleyi said the union supports Government policy as it will promotes local production of all agricultural products, adding that the move will further impact positively on the commodity value chains.
“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. And, the potato industry is another case in point. We therefore implore 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 but to include all commodities which we have comparative advantage to produce,” Kaleyi said.
He said the continued importation of some commodities erodes jobs locally, more so at a time when the country is experiencing domestic currency fluctuations, making it difficult to plan.
Kaleyi further said reducing on importations of agricultural commodities which can be supplied locally will have a profound positive impact on Zambia’s trade balance thus easing deterioration of the local currency and guarantee some level of stability.
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