GOVERNMENT will allow fish and processed meat imports in the short run because of the prevailing deficit in the products, says Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Greyford Monde.
Mr Monde said that although it was clear that Zambia has deficits in fish and processed beef, a balance needed to be reached between imports and domestic supply.
He said the ministry had observed that imports of cheap fish and processed meats had sky-rocketed, thereby threatening local industries.
He explained that imports of animal products had a tendency to stifle domestic production growth and contribute to the vulnerability of the national economy.
Mr Monde said such imports required risk assessments to be done that were costly and time consuming.
He said the development of any nation was dependent on increasing production and productivity and that the importation of animal products must be a stop gap measure and not a long-term solution.
Government was keen to ensure that the fisheries and livestock sector achieved their full potential and became drivers of sustainable economic growth.
“This has been demonstrated through the creation of the new Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock by President Edgar Lungu,” he said.
He said the ministry’s aim was to provide an enabling environment for sustainable increase in the production and productivity of high quality marketable fisheries and livestock products.