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Swazi Minister Calls for End to Beef, Poultry Imports

by 5m Editor
4 February 2011, at 9:43am

SWAZILAND - Locally produced beef and poultry meat are now exceeding demand, according to the agriculture minister.

The country has surplus poultry and beef; hence there is no longer a need for these products to be imported, reports the Swazi Observer.

Minister of Agriculture, Clement Dlamini, said the country no longer imported chickens as most of these could be found in the local market. He said Swaziland produced enough to satisfy the local market.

"Swaziland is self-sufficient in terms of poultry as well as beef. We no longer import like we used to," he said, adding that the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBoard) had the regulatory powers to control importation of poultry and beef.

Minister Dlamini noted that countries were free to sell their products anywhere because of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) policies on free trade. He said what countries did, however, was impose huge levies for imported goods, which discouraged farmers from selling their products in foreign countries. He said, as a result, it was impossible for the country to export poultry.

"“Exporting is very expensive because of the levies that are involved when you take goods to another country," said Mr Dlamini, adding that countries protected their industries by imposing these tariffs.

Further, the minister said his ministry continued to train poultry farmers to improve production. He said they wanted to ensure that quality chickens were produced that would also ensure continued supply for the local market. He said they also trained farmers who breed cattle to produce more so that the country continues to be self-sufficient.

He pointed out that the country should maintain self-sustainability so that it stops relying on other countries, concludes the report in Observer.