NAMIBIA – The Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) has closed the border for the importation of 13 horticultural products on the 20-crop special list for December.
According to the notice to all horticulture traders issued by NAB chief executive Fidelis Mwazi on 21 November, the border will be closed for the importation of all types and sizes of beetroot, butternut, cabbage, and carrot, except for exclusions.
This is in line with the Agronomic Industry Act and the Namibian Horticulture Market Share Promotion Scheme rules and regulations aimed at protecting Namibian producers against unfair competition from cheap and sometimes substandard imports, according to Mwazi.
Also closed for monthly importation are all types and sizes of colored pepper, green pepper, and onion, except for exclusions.
“The border will also be closed for the importation of all types and sizes of jam tomato, cocktail/cherry/mini plum tomato, and round tomato, except for exclusions,” Mwazi said in the notice.
The border is also closed for the importation of all types and sizes of watermelon, as well as sweet melons, except for exclusions, as the harvest and marketing of the local produce is already underway.
Mwazi also closed the border for the importation of all types and sizes of lettuce (iceberg), except for exclusions, although he allowed the importation of 20% spinach and English cucumber, except for exclusions, to make up for shortfalls in local production.
These are the only two crops that can be imported pro-rata for the month.
Mwazi kept the border open for the importation of five crops.
These are gem squash, potato (washed), sweetcorn, and pumpkin, of which the importation is without restriction, but is subject to the 47% market share promotion (MSP) rules.
The border has also been left open for the unrestricted importation of sweet potato, with the 47% MSP applying from 1 to 15 December only.
Fresh produce imports were permitted from October 1-31
Earlier in our previously published news article, NAB had announced the reopening of the border for the importation of more crops than it had put on the closed list for the period from 1 to 31 October.
In the notice addressed 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 enough, the board decided to reconsider the decision to restrict imports.
“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.
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