Malawi government refuses to ban vegetable imports

Joseph Mwanamvekha, the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, told Parliament that the Malawi government can only impose punitive taxes on vegetable imports. With this he reacted to Democratic Progressive Party MP Assani Lipande’s request to ban imports of produce such as tomatoes and Irish potatoes.

According to, Mwanamvekha claimed that a Malawi import ban would only affect trade in Malawian products. “But we can still achieve the same objective through other measures including value added tax [VAT] and non-tariff barriers,” he said.

People’s Party’s MP Ralph Jooma stated that the government should empower farmers and ensure that buyers have markets in rural areas. Malawi has bilateral trade agreements with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

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