Government has relaxed import ban on livestock and fisheries, as the country still face deficit, amid efforts to support local producers.

The authorities want to ensure that local producers are not negatively affected by imports.

Currently rivers and lakes produce 80,000 tonnes of fish while 20,000 tonnes are from aquaculture, against a deficit of 55,000 tonnes

Michael Katambo Livestock and Fisheries Minister said livestock and fish imports will continue to offset the deficit in the local market.

Katambo however government envisage a well coordinated import procedures, protecting local production.

“This entails transparency and information sharing from all key players, who include the farmers, traders and chain store operators, among others,” Katambo said.

He said the sharing of information with key stakeholders will enable government to plan more effectively.

“It is important that all players adhere to the terms and conditions of the trading service to avoid dumping and unfair competition.”

The minister’s decision comes after government recognised that the country continues to face shortfalls in the production of fisheries and livestock products.

Meanwhile government has put in place strategies and programmes to increase production.

He also said the sector can contribute to food security in the country, employment, increase income generation and poverty reduction.