Food shortage fears as Zimbabwe cancels import permits

via Food shortage fears as govt cancels import permits | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Thursday, April 3, 2014

The immediate cancellation of food import permits have sparked fears of a looming shortage of fruit and vegetables, with no clarification yet of when imported fresh produce will be allowed back on shelves.

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said in a statement this week that all current fruit and vegetable import and export permits, previously issued by the ministry, had been recalled with immediate effect. This followed a Government directive on Monday that there was a need to revise the rules and regulations governing the importation and exportation of agricultural produce.

The move means that all fresh produce brought into the country will not be permitted, until new import permits are issued. It is not yet clear who will now be given the permits and when. But in the short term it means grocery stores and other shops who sell imported goods will soon run short of stock.

The effect of the directive is likely to be far reaching, with Zimbabweans mostly reliant on imported fresh produce because of the destruction of the domestic agricultural sector. The import of fresh fruit and vegetables from South Africa, for example, is said to be worth an estimated $1 million a month.

At the same time, some commercial farming groups in Zimbabwe remain afloat because of international exports of their produce, with large supermarkets chains and others still sourcing Zim fruit and vegetables.

Economic analyst Masimba Kuchera said the directive has likely been motivated by pressure from local producers, who have argued that imports are killing the local markets.

“The idea is good, but the timing is really bad. This may induce a food shortage because the directive is coming with immediate effect. Local farmers are likely not prepared to chip in with the required food tonnage of produce for the markets,” Kuchera told SW Radio Africa.

He added: “So we may have a ripple affect with price increases in the short term, because we will have fewer goods with a lot of demand.”

Kuchera also warned that the impact on the export market will be serious, because Zimbabwe’s economy is still in desperate need of foreign currency.

“From an export perspective this is shooting yourself in the foot, because some of the foreign currency in the market is generated from this sector. So this (the directive) reduces the country’s ability to earn foreign currency which is required at the moment,” Kuchera explained.

He added that corruption, which has been rampant in different Zimbabwean sectors, is a source of concern moving forward, with the import/export industry worth millions of dollars.

“Corruption is something we have to be worried about generally, because it has pervaded every nook and cranny of Zimbabwean transaction. Clearly we have a situation where there is a culture of doing business where kickbacks and bribes are the order of the day,” Kuchera warned.

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20 comments on “Food shortage fears as Zimbabwe cancels import permits
  1. John Thomas says:

    The minister has a proven track record as a serial mis calculator, provoker of unintended consequences, own goal scorer and general laughing stock of the entire country. It is seriously doubtful that even his own family likes or respects him. His only qualification is that he is so hopeless that Bob knows he is incapable of plotting.

    Stupidity of this order must be treasured as an example of what pure stupidity really is. This minister is incapable of connecting action and consequence, reality and wistfulness. No veggies for lots of people. This is a big deal.

    Here is a free tip for this Made. Think before you act. You will save yourself and everybody else a lot of trouble. Also try harder with the reading and writing. You may get it one day.

  2. furedi says:

    This one is for those who could not get in on the diamonds. Some one in the party wants that $1 million a month in their off-shore account.Will probably be the only import licence holder in the Veg&fruit trade.

  3. NBS says:

    Another ad hoc decision calculated to destroy. has this been thought through properly.

  4. Mvelase says:

    Another dastardly act of the mafia… To hell with the people because we are in power not because of them, so we will serve our own interests and blame the West when things go wrong..

  5. Chidumbu says:

    Can you remember when they changed the number plates, guess who had the only contract to supply the new ones? none other than the illustrious Joyce Mujuru, no wonder she is so fat now sitting at the main table stuffing her face with all her ill gotten gains

  6. UMAARI says:

    That means EU is crying for food shortage due to ice and unfertilized land not Africans who were blessed resourceful and natural land but some blacks misused the land exclusive the hero, Mugabe who defended his country and land

    • Parangeta says:

      You are an uneducated, misguided fool!
      M”Garbage is no hero and he has NOT defended this Beloved Country of mine,
      The Nyasa!

    • Parangeta says:

      The EU crying? They are so rich, so inundated with food and money, they
      can afford to bail out Zimbabawe’s schooling. hospitals, water and sewage utilities.

      They sent $35 million just last month, they pledged $200 million for Kariba,
      so be grateful, you ungrateful ZPF b-itch!

  7. maita says:

    Whenever they are sitting, walking, sleeping all they think is how to fix the Zimbabwean and they have known us to be a docile lot they will continue doing so until madhongi amera nyanga. We are too docile and we deserve this.

  8. Zeezee says:

    Before all the farms were plundered there was no need to import fresh fruit and vegetables! We had so much food that not only was everyone in Zim fed but we had excess to export. Africa’s bread basket is now the begging basket!

  9. maita says:

    ZanuPf is a clever mafia organisation. It has failed to revive the economy and now they know all attention is on what they should do, and what do they do, they have decided to create a crisis and they know Zimbos will be busy trying to find food on the table whilst they are buying time for their life on earth by the time we wake up they will be dead then. Akangwara makudo aya.

  10. Gomogranny says:

    OK let’s always try to be positive! I sugguest we plant a veggie garden at the back of your house people. (Before there is no seed left) Shame there is no reliable water system left with which to irrigate the plants…..oh dear. Good work ZANU. Masters of destruction.

  11. Johnny k says:

    I am told that there are a number of Gonyeti stuck at the border posts bringing wheat into zim because import licences have been cancelled. Mai Grace I ask the question – If Zimbo’s cannot eat Sadza or Bread ( Because there is no grain)then what shall we eat wise one??

    • Parangeta says:

      “Cake of course”, then Marie Antoinette was sent to the guillotine,
      ha! ha!
      Here comes ‘lo makulu missis’ dis-Grace.

  12. Parangeta says:

    God bless Ian D Smith’s memory.
    He left us a healthy, wealthy, viable and
    enviable Country.

    It took the simian M’Garbage and his ZPF goons
    35 years to destroy.

    Now they cancel vegetable and fruit imports, what
    foolishness.
    What will we eat, tobacco, diamonds or maybe just
    ask the evil axis of Eu, UK and USA to subsidize them.

    Cry my Beloved Country!

  13. Mixed Race says:

    Here is my suggestion to make these misguided individuals realize that we are not to be taken for granted anymore.We should all refuse to buy vegetables with hiked prices for about a week or s.These are perishables so they will not manage to keep them fresh for too long,this will make these misguided individuals to come down on their prices.I suggest you buy things like sugar beans,dried lude, pumpkin leaves etc.This is a war we should win at all costs otherwise we starve to death.I am pleased to notice that people in Byo never stopped growing vegetables within their limited small lands around their houses.
    Those who have no borehole water they can still do it by using the economic watering system which concentrates limited water to each plant.With only about 20 litres a day you could water vegetables adequate for a family of four easily.Listen to Builders Radio they give all this information for free to assist communities with limited resources to survive.
    I am not against the policy of protecting our industry BUT I am against the idea of trying to cause deliberate shortages so that these misguided individuals can raise the prices as they like on substandard products with total immunity.

  14. UMAARI says:

    Parangeta, how do you realized my statement if i am uneducated, i see you are kissing ass EU, Mugabe is the hero believe or not, you are slave if you support EU.

  15. UMAARI says:

    Parangeta, You claim They are so rich, so inundated with food and money, they
    can afford to bail out Zimbabawe’s schooling. hospitals, water and sewage utilities.

    They sent $35 million just last month, they pledged $200 million for Kariba,
    so be grateful, you ungrateful ZPF b-itch! What is their purpose! did you follow deeply, if you are a man you could realize what is the EU to fund Africans, we don’t need at all!

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