AGRISA CALLS ON GOVT TO RESPOND TO BOTSWANA, NAMIBIA BLOCKING PRODUCTION IMPORTS
CAPE TOWN – AgriSA wants urgent intervention from Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza after Botswana and Namibia blocked certain South African agricultural imports.
The organisation on Friday said with jobs and revenue at stake, government must immediately respond to what it calls an unjustified action.
AgriSA said the move was in violation of the Southern African Customs Union Agreement.
The agricultural industry association’s Christo van der Rheede said the decision did not stem from any wrongdoing by South African farmers, but Botswana and Namibia have cited a need to protect their own production even as they continue to export produce to South Africa.
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“We are all part of the Southern African Customs Union and there are rules that we would have agreed to.”
He said if the government could not secure the reversal of the bans, it must implement reciprocal measures: “Botswana, obviously, wants to build its own sector and the same with Namibia and I think they have got reasons for doing so,” said van der Rheede.
The bans currently include tomatoes, potatoes, beetroot, cabbage and coloured peppers and van Der Rheede added that Botswana might only review the move in two years.