PRETORIA – 27TH SEPTEMBER, 2015 – SOUTH Africa has granted Zambia, access to its pure honey market following what it terms as Zambia’s compliance to South Africa’s sanitary import requirements.
According to correspondence dated 25th September, 2015 from South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Zambia will now be able to export its pure honey into South Africa after the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) of Zambia confirmed compliance to the requirements.
“The National Plant Protection Organisation of South Africa (NPPOZA) hereby wishes to inform the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) of Zambia that after the NPPO of Zambia confirmed compliance to the sanitary import requirements for South Africa with regard to the importation of pure honey, a market access for pure honey from Zambia into South Africa has been granted,” the letter addressed to the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute and signed by Mr. Kgabo Matlala, Manager for International Plant Health Standards under the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa, said in part.
Mr. Matlala said that issuance of import permits for the importation of pure honey from Zambia into South Africa had already started.
“In our efforts to facilitate safe trade within the region, we look forward to future collaboration between the two NPPOs (National Plant Protection Organisations),” Mr. Matlala said in the letter.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner – Designate to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba has welcomed the development saying this will go a long way in contributing to the improvement of lives of most rural Zambians and consequently to the development of the country’s economy.
Mr. Mwamba said it was encouraging that the long-standing issue had now been resolved and urged that all those trading in the commodity should ensure that they observe the conditions that Zambia and South Africa have agreed on through their respective government wings.
He, however, pointed out that some of the import requirements that still regulated the trade remained stringent and that Zambia would monitor the situation and engage South Africa to look at possibilities of relaxing some of the areas.
Under the permit which has just been issued, the honey should come from a country or zone free of Nosema ceranae (which is a small parasite that affects honey bees), or the honey should have been tested and found free of Nosema ceranae.
Pure honey shall only be packaged in closed and sealed new, unused, uncontaminated containers.
The permit also stipulates that on arrival of the consignment at the port of entry, a random sample may be drawn and sent to a laboratory for testing of Paenibacillus larvae (which causes American foulbrood disease, a highly contagious disease of bacterial origin affecting the larval and pupal stages of honeybees).
Should Paenibacillus larvae and Nosema ceranae be detected, notification of non-compliance shall be communicated to Zambia and all imports of honey shall be subjected to irradiation or sent back. South Africa will then advise Zambia of the actions to be taken.
All the honey is further required to be quarantined in Zambia at an approved quarantine facility by the department of veterinary services, at which point a sample will be drawn by a veterinary approved person and sent to an accredited laboratory for analysis of Nosema Ceranae and pollen. A valid certificate of analysis has to be obtained indicating the source of pollen, the lack Nosema Ceranae spores before a sanitary certificate can be issued.
ZAMBIAN HIGH COMMISSION IN SOUTH AFRICA
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