By Prudence Siabana
The Cross Border Network Africa, an organization promoting and facilitating Small and Medium Enterprises –SMEs- in Africa has disclosed that the importation of onions has still continued with trucks being allowed to enter Zambia despite the suspension on onion importation.
Addressing the media in Lusaka today, Network Chairman General Bernard Sikunyongana says trucks laden with onions are being allowed to enter the country despite the suspension and is calling on government to explain why trucks with onions from South Africa are still being given importation permits.
Mr. Sikunyongana has insisted that local farmers have the capacity to produce and meet the demand for onions on the local market but allowing importation of the commodity has led to wastage.
At the same event, Zambia National Farmers Union -ZNFU- Public Relations Manager Calvin Kaleyi expressed concern at this development and called for further investigation into the matter as it has the potential to disadvantages the local farmers.
But contacted on this matter, Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary Green Mboozi clarified that government has not issued any new permits for the importation of onion but that those that are in use at the moment are permits which were issued prior to the suspension and had a validity of about 30 days .