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2023 any Action plan on your side ? My imagination
Valerie Mmanthe Mampshika,Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English.

Following their move to ban fresh produced vegetables from the Republic of South Africa(RSA), Botswana traders are now searching for a u-turn due to vegetable shortages.

The short supply of vegetables in Botswana has left traders pleading with their government to permit them to get produce from South Africa like before.

The traders in Botswana believe that it is only fair if other countries do not supply them with vegetables following the decision to employ an import ban on certain commodities.

As a substitute of closing off the borders completely, Batswana traders and representatives of small-scale traders are petitioning that their government should reconsider its importation ban policy to allow them to import at least 30% of vegetable and fruit commodities to ensure that the country has sufficient vegetables.

As previously stated by BusinessTech Africa, Botswana halted imports of certain produce from South Africa earlier this year, namely tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric, chilli peppers, butternut, watermelons, sweet peppers, green mealies, and fresh herbs.

Its rationale was to shield its local agricultural sectors, reduce its P9.2 billion (R12 billion) yearly import bill and boost horticultural competitiveness; but the insufficient supply of produce it is now left with is being absorbed by big chains, with numerous farmers attempting to reserve contracts to supply them.

This has left out small greengrocers and traders, who have now attempted to get the attention of the president Mokgweetsi Masisi in a petition against the current policy regretting that local producers have not been able to meet the demand for most of the barred commodities.

According to the Department of Agriculture, South Africa exports humongous volumes of fruit and vegetables to countries in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) region yearly,and Botswana needs to reconsider.

Based on the records dating back to between 2017 and 2021, South Africa’s annual potato exports to the global market accumulated an average of R705 million, and R108 million was for Botswana, relative to a report by the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC).

Onions, being the second biggest vegetable commodity South Africa exports to the other countries on the continent, on an average R447 million per year, and R43 million for Botswana.

In the interim,onion exports to Botswana and Namibia have banned some imports from South Africa as neighbouring countries with strong economies.

Back to agricultural basics…vegetables grow fresh and healthy on a rich soil ground administered by farmers who are knowledgeable in the agriculture field.

We can propose that perhaps all African farmers could meet yearly to discuss the growth of vegetables in various seasons and the measures which could be taken to ensure that their countries have sufficient supply of vegetables to stabilise economies by exporting a minimal amount of vegetables which will not cost billions.

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