AGRICULTURAL NEWS – Treasury’s instruction to all state institutions to only procure locally produced poultry meat, cannot in itself save the South African poultry industry.
All South Africans need to change their thinking and make it a priority to source local poultry meat, even if imports may be more affordable in some instances.
This was according to Garth Strachan, deputy director-general of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), speaking at the 111th AVI Africa conference for the poultry industry held at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, recently.
“It must be inculcated in the minds of public servants and private sector procurers to buy locally, and one have to ask where ‘proudly South African’ comes into play,” Strachan said.
According to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, South Africa is not allowed to instruct the private sector to only source locally, but state procurement is still a grey area. Strachan said he believed South Africa was not breaking WTO rules with the new instruction from DTI.
Strachan said he believed South Africa was not breaking WTO rules with the new instruction from DTI.
“The best would be if [members of] the public said they supported local procurement. This also has to include BEE initiatives where possible, to open the market to new entrants,” he said.
Simply imposing tariffs without the industry also attempting to become more efficient, and not allowing new entrants into the market was not the answer to the industry’s challenges, Strachan said.
First published in George Herald on 23 June 2017