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Five crops closed for importation in August

The Namibian Agronomic Board has closed the border for the importation of only five horticultural crops out of 20 different crops on the special import permit list for the period 1-31 August.

According to a notice to all horticulture traders, signed by the board’s chief executive officer, Fidelis Mwazi, the border will be closed for the importation of all types and sizes of cabbage, onion, sweet potato, cocktail/cherry/mini plum tomato as well as round tomato, except for exclusions.

The closure shows that producers in Namibia’s nascent horticultural sector are able to satisfy demand for these special controlled products.

According to Mwazi, this intervention is in line with the Agronomic Industry Act and the Namibian horticulture market share promotion (MSP) scheme rules and regulations to grow the sector and protect producers against competition from cheap imports that might cause a glut in the market.

However, in situations where farmers are not able to satisfy demand, the board has allowed open importation without restrictions or importation on a pro-rata basis to make up for the shortfall.

According to Mwazi’s directive, gem squash, pumpkin, watermelon, sweet melon and sweetcorn are open for importation without restrictions, but the 47% MSP applies.

However, potato washed is open for importation without restriction from 1 to 15 August only, said the statement.

Mwazi put eight crops on pro-rata importation to make up for shortfalls from producers. He allowed 20% importation of all types and sizes of beetroot, except for exclusions and set the importation of carrots, English cucumber, green pepper, jam tomato, lettuce (iceberg) and spinach at 30% all except for exclusions.

“However, for all types and sizes of coloured pepper, importation has been set at 40% except for the exclusions,” said Mwazi, adding that the notice is subject to change.
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