Lusaka, 01 March, 2022 / 2:34 pm (ACI Africa).
Officials of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) have called on the Zambian government to study the effects of a ban on imports to the Southern African nation before instituting such a move.
On February 22, Zambia’s Ministry of Agriculture banned the importation of potatoes and onions after members of the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) raised concerns about the flooding of the products in the market.
In a statement dated Monday, February 28, JCTR officials say while bans on imports are important in protecting the interest of local businesses, “such interventions require detailed consideration and that safeguards for all anticipated fall outs are put in place to ensure local demand can still be met.”
“As local farmers demand for importation bans on the basis that foreign imports make their produce go to waste, there is a need for them to demonstrate that they have a capacity to meet local demand of particular commodities,” JCTR officials say.
Officials of the Zambia-based research institute say a repeat of last years’ experience where the government lifted the ban on importation of onions and potatoes after two months “must be avoided.”