By Nation Reporter
IMPORTED fish has continued to stifle the local industry dealing in similar products, says Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Greyford Monde.
Mr Monde said although Zambia has a deficit in the production of fish and processed beef, there was need to put up regulations to protect the local industry from unfair competition.
He said because of many tonnes of imported fish coming into the country, the local industry was not making a profit.
In an interview, Mr Monde however said his ministry was working hard to ensure that it struck a balance between imports and local production.
He said the previous fish ban was incident-free as there were no reported cases of its violation.
‘’This was one of the most successful fish bans because people now understand the importance of fish breeding,” he said.
“The Fisheries Department did not record any cases of fishermen engaging in illegal activities during the period and this can only be attributed to them understanding that Government means well for imposing the ban so that they can continue to catch more fish without depleting it,” he said.
The minister said he would soon issue a communiqué following the Indaba meeting held in Lusaka recently on imports of fish, processed meat and mechanically deboned poultry.
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu said it was scandalous for Zambia to import fresh fish and called for a stop to the trend because Zambians were capable of producing sufficient stocks for home consumption.
He said Zambia could go back to where it belonged and export fish around the region so that it could reverse this in three years’ time. President Lungu disclosed that Government had secured US$50 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to enable Zambians venture into fish farming entrepreneurial projects.
He said this after touring Chongwe’s Palabana Fisheries, an aquaculture private company specialised in fingerling production and supply of dragging nets.