Govt digs in on import restrictions

THOSE in the agriculture and retail business complaining about being affected by import restrictions must not be entertained as communal farmers have capacity to meet the demand, a deputy minister has said.

Source: Govt digs in on import restrictions – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 24, 2016

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Last month, government promulgated Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016, which restricted the importation of certain products to protect local industries. It said those that wanted to import restricted products have to obtain a licence, but after satisfying authorities why they should be allowed to import the products.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting yesterday, deputy minister of Agriculture Paddy Zhanda said communal farmers were more than capable of meeting the demand.

The meeting was held under the theme, Interrogating the State of Zimbabwe’s Agricultural Sector and running concurrently with the 2016 Harare Agricultural Show.

“I hear retailers are coming to you [ministry of Industry and Commerce] to say they have been affected by SI 64 of 2016. Let them be affected, do not worry, they will soon find ways of dealing with that. We have poor farmers in Mutoko, for example, who produce enough maize and carrots, farmers in Chegutu that produce tomatoes and butternut every now and again, who come to Mbare Musika to sell their products and find them competing with products from South Africa,” Zhanda said.

“If we continue to behave normally in an abnormal situation it means that you are not normal. Let us not listen to those people who are saying their businesses are going to die and employment will be affected, just say thank you.”
He added: “The person who came to open a business here — their intention was not to harm employment, it was to make money and unfortunately you cannot make money without employing people.”

Some of the 43 products listed on S1 64 of 2016 were put as a preventative measure as they were found to be easily produced in the country.

Economist Kipson Gundani said there had to be constant monitoring of SI 64 of 2016, as trade was a double edged sword, meaning, both good and bad.

“I think there is an agreement that this (SI 64 of 2016) is a short term measure and is not sustainable itself. We need to go a step further into domesticating procurement through probably a local content approach similar to what industrialised countries have done. More importantly, there is an agreement to say yes trade is good, but it is also harmful,” Gundani said.

“There is an agreement to regulate but what needs to happen is the extent to which to regulate because we may over regulate to an extent where we get less and less efficient which would detrimental to our cause.”
It is estimated the agricultural sector needs $2 billion to be capacitated.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    What about the potato crisps? Which farmers are producing them? I love that ‘crunch’!

  • comment-avatar
    ntaba 6 years ago

    The joke from 36 years ago was when Zanu won the election with a rooster as the emblem. Everbody said “Now that the cock is in, the country is stuffed.” That was things still worked! Now the Cock thinks that the world owes it a living and that he and his Agriculture Mujiba Scoones are smarter than the market! So now, Mugabe and Scoones know much better than the market in terms of Demand and Supply! There appear to be too many smart arse politcians and economists in Zanu? i.e. an over supply?

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    Mike x 6 years ago

    What about all these Chinese cheap and rubbish imports that have stuffed up what little was left of industry.
    Wait and see the prices of goods rise.
    Goods easily produced in the country – drivel – the manufacturing base has collapsed into a heap.
    Just another scam to limit demand, thereby pushing prices sky high whilst all the cronies take their cut!

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    Does the minister mean …..that it is cheaper to import “buttanut”from South africa than it is to grow it in chegutu…….WOW…..The chegutu farmers must be making a HUGE profit ….. that the povo must pay for……..OR is it because the farms in South Africa have farmers on them still…..The minister should advise the( ZANU PF ) “farmers”to reduce the prices to compete…..OR GIVE THE FARMS BACK TO THE LEGAL FARMERS WHOSE FARMS THEY STOLE ……

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    jiyamwa 6 years ago

    I don’t see in the article where “the government digs in”.Headline and story going opposite direction

  • comment-avatar

    Zhanda thinks like a baboon. A real one!