Earlier this week potato producers and importers met with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture to discuss issues facing the industry. At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that the approval of import licenses for potatoes will be halted in order to allow the potato producers to successfully sell their products on the local market. But they will still have the competition of contraband potatoes. Comptroller of Customs and Excise, Colin Griffith explained how that problem will be dealt with.
COLIN GRIFFITH, COMPTROLLER OF CUSTOMS AND EXCISE
“The Customs department continues to have vigorous enforcement initiatives in the north. As a matter of fact just recently in October of last year, historically there was a donation from a local business house of two motor vehicles for the Customs Department based on the results of our enforcement initiatives. The situation with potatoes or any contraband it is our department that continues to function and as I mentioned in my speech we work closely with all of the other enforcement agencies. In the situation with agricultural produce for customs to have a very, very strong case we actually have to meet those goods being brought in illegally. If that doesn’t occur we have to rely on the expertise of BAHA to identify whether those products were grown locally or imported.”
There are currently three point seven million pounds of potato on the market.