NAMIBIA – The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) has opened the border for the importation of more crops than it has put on the closed list for the period from 1 to 31 October.

In a notice to all horticulture traders, NAB Chief Executive Fidelis Mwazi stated that out of the 19 specially controlled products, colored pepper, gem squash, washed potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, watermelon, sweet melon, and spinach can be imported without any restrictions.

“The border is also open for the unrestricted importation of sweetcorn, except for the 47% MSP. However, this restriction only applies from 1 to 15 October,” said Mwazi.

NAB had issued another notice for the period of 1-30 September, which prohibited the importation of all types and sizes of beetroot, cabbage, carrot, onion, cocktail/cherry/mini plum, and round tomato. Also closed for importation were all types and sizes of sweet potatoes, except for small sizes weighing 1-2 kilograms.

However, due to the inability of local farmers to meet the demand with sufficient quantities, the board decided to reconsider the decision to restrict imports. The 47% Market Share Promotion (MSP) will nonetheless still apply, and the imports done on a pro rata basis.

“In accordance with the Agronomic Industry Act and the Namibian Horticulture MSP scheme rules and regulations, a 50% pro-rata importation will be implemented for all varieties and sizes of green peppers and jam tomatoes, with the exception of exclusions,” stated Mwazi.

The MSP scheme is a growth-at-home strategy implemented by the NAB to stimulate horticultural production in Namibia and promote the sale of locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables. It aims to encourage importers, such as wholesalers, catering companies, and retailers, to source locally.

Importers of fresh fruit and vegetables must meet the requirement of procuring 47% MSP to obtain an import permit. This means that only traders/importers who have reached their minimum MSP are permitted to import horticultural products without any restrictions.

NAB is responsible for facilitating its own border control, including issuing permits, conducting checks, and controlling the cross-border flow of agronomic and horticultural products.

Effective border control ensures that the minimum support price threshold of locally sourcing before issuing permits is maintained.

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