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ProAgri Zambia 053

A trade war is never something to aspire to. We are currently experiencing one of the biggest trade wars in history between the US and China and we are all affected some way or another.

The Soweto Market in Lusaka also experienced a very unfortunate trade war on onions recently, but it was very well handled by the ZNFU and the Lusaka City Council (LLC). They deserve a salute for that. The traders and agents were at loggerheads with farmers who wanted to sell their produce independently. Obviously, the farmers could sell their onions for a much cheaper price. Luckily, the free market principles were kept intact when the ZNFU and LLC told onion farmers and traders that the price for onions will be determined according to supply and demand or market forces and farmers and traders will have to negotiate prices. A few excellent and thought-through solutions were found.

All parties involved attended a meeting held at the Lusaka Civic Centre on the 9th of this month. A regulation was imposed in which any person who sells more than 50 pouches should be deemed a wholesaler and must register with the council and pay a levy. They will be given an official certification that allows them to trade at the market. Another huge problem on the market is phytosanitary standards.

Many of those involved lack compliance and this will need to be worked on in order to deter uncertified crop from unknown sources from finding its way onto the market and to prevent the risk of importing crop diseases.

After all, this win-win consensus will bring back the harmonious operations at Soweto Market and create an even better environment for crop trading. Stay warm this month and enjoy a jam-packed edition full of very exciting and informative content.

Farm smartly!

Du Preez de Villiers – dupreez@proagri.co.za

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