According to the Namibian Agronomic Board, a ban has been put in place to protect local producers against the importation of inferior produce that may result in a surplus on the local market. The ban is also to show that local farmers have the capacity to produce enough for the country's needs during the month.
Of the 19 horticultural crops on the specially controlled products list, only five can be imported into Namibia without restriction, except for the 47% market-share promotion (MSP), four can be imported on a pro-rata basis, and the rest are banned for August.
According to a notice issued by NAB chief executive officer Fidelis Mwazi on 28 July, covering the special import permit period from 1 to 31 August, only gem squash, washed potato, watermelon, sweet melon and sweetcorn can be imported without restriction, although the 47% MSP applies. “However, washed potato and sweetcorn can only be imported from 1 to 15 August,” the notice read.
Only 20% importation of all types and size of fresh, chilled, whole or cut English cucumber can be imported between 1 and 15 August, while 20% importation of sweet potato will be allowed strictly in 1 to 2kg-size groups, fresh or chilled, whole or cut, except for orange sweet potatoes and exclusions.
The NAB also allowed 30% importation of all types and sizes of fresh, chilled, whole or cut green pepper, as well as 30% of all types and sizes of fresh, chilled, whole or cut green spinach.
In line with the Agronomic Industry Act, and the Namibian Horticulture Market Share Promotion scheme, the importation of beetroot, butternut, cabbage, carrot and coloured peppers is banned. The border is also closed for the importation of onion, pumpkin, round tomato, jam tomato and lettuce iceberg.