With the April harvest season for Mophane worm fast approaching, harvesters have been advised to obtain the necessary harvest and export documentation lest they face stiff penalties.
The Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) through the Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR) this week issued a stern warning to harvesters to abide by the requirements.
“Subject to provisions of the Agricultural Resources Conservation Act (Cap 35: 06) and its associated Regulations, any person who wishes to deal in or export any veldt product must obtain a dealer and or export permit for that product.
Any person who contravenes these regulations, or who makes a false statement in order to obtain a harvesting, dealer or export permit commits an offence and is liable to a fine or imprisonment or both,” the department announced in a media release.
Harvesting and export licences for cross boarder traders can be obtained from the DFRR.
“The Department wishes to advice the general public and Phane dealers in particular, that DFRR will continue to issue harvesting, dealers and export permits to facilitate Phane trade both locally and with neighboring countries.”
Exporters have been advised to obtain the appropriate documents and licenses for them to trade in different countries as per the requirements for those countries.
Harvesters have also been advised to seek permission from land owners or farms in the event they want to enter their premises for harvesting.
Potential exporters have also been advised to contact Country Embassies to obtain information on licenses and or permits which will allow them to trade in different neighbouring countries.