Lusaka – Just weeks after the Zambian government banned importation of onions and potatoes, authorities have reversed the decision as shortages of the commodities bite.
The decision was reached as part of an attempt to boost local agricultural productivity, but now the Ministry of Agriculture says the country has to urgently import 10,000 tonnes of onions.
Zambian Fruit and Vegetable Traders Association president Mr Bernard Sikunyongana commended the government for being responsive enough to review its decision. However, he said 10,000 tonnes of imported onions would be sufficient for three-months’ demand.
Former National Union for Small-Scale Farmers in Zambia director-general Dr Frank Kayula added that the government should find a way to balance imports and the need to boost local production of agricultural produce.
“Government shouldn’t have completely banned the importation but put restrictions on what is coming in, meaning that a quota will be allocated,” he said.