• Chipangali, Kasenegwa and Chipata have got a lot of onions and all these onions are stuck.
• People do not have anywhere to go and sell them.
• They want to create an artificial shortage of onion so that government can open the borders
Chipangali based Onion Cooperative has disclosed that plenty of onion is stuck in Eastern Province and other parts of the country due to lack of market for the commodity.
Hanyisi Onion Cooperative Chairman Davy Kapwata told Money FM News that it is therefore shocking to hear that one of the leading chain stores in the country has run out of onions when there is adequate supply of the commodity.
Mr. Kapwata alleged that the said chain store want to find a way of starting to import onions from South Africa, therefore Government must not fall in this trap for this is one way of creating employment for Zambians.
“Chipangali has got a lot of onion, Kasenegwa and Chipata have got a lot of onions and all these onions are stuck, people do not have anywhere to go and sell them. And if they are talking about quality, have a look at those onions we produce they have very good quality.”
“From the look of things it’s like they have got preferences or they want government to U-turn and say since Zambians have failed to supply, start importing from South Africa. We would like to appeal to the government that they shouldn’t uplift this ban because once we start importing onion from South Africa it will mean we will be creating employment for the South Africans and not Zambians,” Mr. Kapwata lamented.
He said local farmers fail to meet the required standards because of the criteria used when sourcing for onions, hence the South African chain store should consider engaging small scale farmers to produce the quality they want.
“We assured them that we are going to produce a lot of onions, go to Mansa right now there is a lot of onion that is looking for buyers. Let them give us a chance we supply them and not what they are doing. They want to create an artificial shortage of onion so that government can open the border so that they can deprive us from the opportunities that the President has given to us,” he stated.
Shoprite Country Manager Charles Bota disclosed that all their stores have run out of onion countrywide, adding that local farmers only manage to meet demand in terms of quality and volume during the onion season.
On February 21, this year, the government announced a ban on the importation of onion and potatoes into the country until further notice.