Botswana bans fruit and vegetable imports
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Botswana, largely dependent on South Africa for fruits and vegetables, has banned fruit and vegetable importations following an outbreak of the Asian Fruit Fly in the northern part of the country. The diamond rich nation spends over $23.7 million per annum importing 34 000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to supplement the 41 000 produced locally. The banishing of imports will likely cause a shortage of fruit and vegetables in the country.
Botswana’s Ministry of Agriculture this week quarantined farms and banned imports to control the spread of the pest. The Asian Fruit Fly attacks and damages tomatoes, citrus, cucumber, mango, cashew nuts, guava, green pepper, water melons squash pumpkins, butternuts, banana and the avocado.Fruit flies can be spread from one area to another through the movement of infested fruits.
Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson, Mr Geoffrey Pheko confirmed the newly introduced restrictions. He, however, admitted local produce would not meet the nation’s demands.
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