Mixed reactions on importation freeze | The Herald

via LATEST: Mixed reactions on importation freeze | The Herald April 2, 2014

Players in the agricultural sector have received with mixed reactions, the move by the Government to suspend importation of all existing imports on the local markets.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made recently said there was need to revise the rules and regulations to be followed when importing agricultural produce as he announced the immediate suspension of the permits.

Farmers have complained that cheap imported produce – mainly from South Africa – are flooding the local market and negatively affecting their operations.

But some analysts believe that the cancellation of the import permits could trigger massive price hikes since the cost of production in Zimbabwe is higher than in South Africa and thus local products cost more on the market.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa said: “The country is importing eggs, vegetables, fruits and poultry products leaving us with nowhere to sell our produce. Some countries are dumping their produce on us and we end up losing our markets.

“As farmers, our Government should give us protection on food we produce here. Some countries subsidise their farmers and give them export incentives which make their produce cheaper compared to local produce, “said Mr Chabhikwa.

Mr Chabikwa said they were unable to compete with subsidised farmers.

“We welcome the move as this protects us to remain productive,” he said.

Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union second vice-president Mr Berean Mukwende said  he hoped security would be tightened at the borders to stamp out smuggling.

He said the cancellation of import permits should serve as a challenge to local farmers to produce quality foodstuffs.

“It’s a step in the right direction and it goes in line with Zim-Asset,” said Mr Mukwende. “We should not look only on the financial aspect but various others, such as employment creation.”

Agricultural economist Mr Midway Bhunu said this would protect local farmers against cheap imports.

“Government will save the balance of payment by reducing value of imports,” he said.

Last week Cde Made issued a statement that all import permits had been cancelled.

“This is pending the return of the old permits to the ministry so that new ones have to be issued. The ministry will follow certain rules and regulations that have to be observed by the licence holders.”

Dr Made did not disclose when new permits would be issued.

Some farmers said Government should first establish the local production deficit so that import licenses would only be issued for produce that was not readily available locally.

Other experts said while it was important to support local farmers by availing markets, this could be better achieved by reducing, not banning imports.

In August 2013, the horticulture industry called for higher import tariffs to avert the collapse of the local industry.

Three years earlier, the Agriculture Marketing Authority imposed a ban on South African potato imports because local producers were failing to compete with their prices.



  • comment-avatar
    thembani 10 years ago

    It is good to protect local producers,but measures should be taken to ensure that we increase production so as not to increase prices. Ther is a tendency to create shortages and maximise profits by charging exorbitant prices as we saw in 1998.

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    John Thomas 10 years ago

    Lets face it. The new farmers are not up to the job. This is a scheme for ZANU insiders to make money at our expense. Local farmers can supply the market when they have learned to farm.

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    Doris 10 years ago

    They can get stuffed. I refuse to buy worm riddled local produce. Potatoes thick with mud (which is also weighed at the till). Sour apples. The only good oranges come from southern Zimbabwe and they have to get to Harare for redistribution. Disgusting mangoes. I most certainly buy local produce when the name of the grower is on the packet – but to buy fresh produce that is grown in sewage is not an option for me or my family.

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    So the consumer must subsidize the inefficient local farmer. The local farmer who only needs to move his product a short distance, not from Joburg across a border and still can’t compete.

    Why does this government so hate Zimbabweans?

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    sekuru Mapengo 10 years ago

    Dr Made banned grapes ???!!!! Hey Joseph, I am not sure Mai Grace Mugabe will be happy about that.

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    Fanwell 10 years ago

    Mr Chabikwa claims that these products are being dumped in Zimbabwe which would imply that they are being sold at lower prices in Zimbabwe than they are in the market of their origin. As most of the products in question originate from South Africa perhaps he would be so good as to indicate where in Zimbabwe we can source vegetables/fruit etc from local producers, of a similar quality, at lower prices than pertain in South Africa. That would then give him some evidence to back his claim. Unfortunately for the already cash starved consumer all this will do is protect local producers (if there are any) and allow them to charge exhorbitant rates for sub standard produce. The cross border traders must be rubbing their hands, they now have yet another line of business to pursue and the revenue to Zimra from official imports will be lost. Clever Mr Made, a Technocrat we are told. (more like a technoprat)

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    gizara 10 years ago

    ban this
    ban that
    ban those
    vegetables, fruits, flour, maize, cars, clothes, cambridge exams, chrome exports, gold exports, platinum exports, maize exports,

    then why not ban the us dollar itself and save ourself the problems
    why not ban export of zimbabwean students to foreign universities
    why not ban all western manufactured or western named cars originating from enemy states

    republic of Banmbabwe

    • comment-avatar
      mascara 10 years ago

      And ban those foreign names, Robert,Grace,Gabriel,Joyce,Emmerson,Jonathan,Joseph and everything foreign.Thus we declare our sovereignty.Pamberi ne idiocy in Banmbabwe.

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    gorongoza 10 years ago

    I hpope other countries also ban the few that we export to them. How about China banning tobacco from Zimbabwe? kkkk

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    Mapingu 10 years ago

    Yet another E-blend kind of regulation by Zim government. This is a government running a poverty-stricken country – where majority survives on less than US$1, yes less than US$1 per day. Civil service professionals are given an average wage/salary in the order of US$350/per months by same government – yes, just about ZAR3 600 per month for Zim civil servant professionals including key professional like teachers, medical doctors, eng., etc. Now it is the same government which says the same people must not be allowed to have access to relatively cheaper goods from SA and other countries. Gosssh! If this is not genocide being perpetrated against the poverty-stricken majority then I wonder what is. For all we know government fat-cats are not affected by these regulations, they even import their drinking water from as far as Bejing without pay even a dine in import duties as ordinary people do. It is common knowledge that, as majority are forced to enrich the elite zanu pf mafia & their zanu pf benefctor white-man, those same zanu pf fat-cats never us E-blend, they use proper fuel – which is much cheaper performance wise & does not damage vehicles as the case with E-blend.

    Truth is it never rains, but only pours for the poor Zimboz. Its suffer, suffer, suffer continue under Gushungo rule. Tichaibva, tamboti tadini.

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    Smart Talk 10 years ago

    It only shows why daft Zimbabweans are. You voted them in, now they are showing you their true colours. They will oppress you for the coming three tears, relax towards elections, start again when voted in power and on and on until hameno. It also shows that hapana kana chiri kuitwa muminda macho. How can some one buy onion, tomatoes, potatooes, vegetables, if the local farmers are producing? How can these products be cheaper from South Africa, if the country is producing the same in abundance. How can eggs in South Africa be cheaper than the eggs produced from Gono’s farm. Are we scared of competition or we are only interested in holding unarmed and innocent people at ransom. You want people from the diaspora to rescue you when you do not want them to buy food for their starving relatives, SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! Saka munotoda kuti vakupei mari yekubhadhara vashandi vamusiri kupa mapay avo?