Namibian border closed for fresh produce imports except washed potatoes

This week, the Agronomic Board of Namibia has banned the import of ten fresh produce lines for this month, except washed potatoes and gem squash. The ABN claims that no imports will be allowed for the following 11 fresh products: beetroot, butternut, English cucumber, green pepper, colored pepper, onion, pumpkin, sweet potato, and round and jam tomato for the month of June 2021. An import restriction on cabbage was only imposed for the first two weeks of June.

The border closure for the month means local production for the ten fresh produce lines will be sufficient to feed the local market and even have enough for export. Apart from these restrictions, the border is open on a pro-rata basis, which allows retailers and agents to import a certain percentage, and source the rest locally depending on the available local harvest for particular products for the month.

Available on a pro-rata basis are carrots and watermelons, with importers allowed to source 50% of their stock needs outside while for lettuce (iceberg), importers are allowed to source 30% outside and the rest locally. The border is open for retailers and import agents to bring in washed potatoes, gem squash, sweet melon, and sweet corn. reports that the existing rule requires a market share promotion of 47% local procurement. However, because of adequate local production, the local market has a huge supply gap for washed potatoes, watermelon, and sweet corn this month, which might continue beyond June.

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