ALLEGED DUMPING OF VEGETABLES ON THE LOCAL MARKET
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (Commission) has noted with concern the call by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) to farmers to “refrain from dumping” several fresh vegetables on the local market.
This call is an afront to limiting access to markets to the various farmers that are producing to scale and is against the spirit of competition promotion. Encouraging competition by limiting production will only serve to disadvantage the local economy and will subject consumers to higher prices. Instead, stakeholders should be seen to encourage scaling up production, value addition and linkages including with export markets.
While Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are instrumental and requires nurturing, that should be done through capacity and scale to match up and not discouraging the established to scale down. We therefore would like to guide Associations such as the ZNFU and other institutions that unwarranted interference with markets that result in anti-competitive outcomes only disadvantage Zambian enterprises in the long run. Any form of output quotas, production cuts, fixing of prices or any other anti-competitive conduct should not be encouraged. ZNFU should take the advice of the Republican President to open up to new opportunities that the surplus vegetables bring such as promoting export markets and setting up cold storage facilities.
The Commission would like to encourage the farmers to continue supplying the markets the best they can and to expand production through value addition and market linkages more so with our SMEs.