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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

How to export as a small-scale farmer


Recognize the problem

Farmers often earn too little money for their produce.  Export of agricultural produce is a good business.  Currently this benefits briefcase businessmen who make huge profits but small-scale farmers could also export. A huge market within the region exists.


Zambia is exporting various agricultural produce such as maize, soya beans and groundnuts to neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Congo DR, Malawi, Tanzania and Botswana. The demand is huge providing a great market opportunity for small-scale farmers. The Zambia Agriculture Research Institute through the Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Service is the inquiry point for all agricultural trade. It has highly decentralised offices that are found in almost all the districts at either the DACO’s or PACO’s offices. Some of them include Chilanga, Chirundu, Mpika, Sesheke and Nakonde.


  • A farmer must get a plant import permit from the importing country, the buyer (importer) can get one on behalf of the farmer. The Zambia development Agency in Lusaka or provincial headquarters can assist. The permit has the name and address of the farmer (exporter) and of the outside buyer (importer), the type of produce, and the conditions that Zambia should fulfil to export to that country. Show this to the phytosanitary office at the DACO’s or PACO’s office or at the nearest border.
  • The phytosanitary officer advises the farmer (exporter) whether Zambia and the farmer are able to meet the conditions.
  • The agricultural produce has to be inspected by a phytosanitary officer (called a Plant health inspector) at its locality and an inspection report is issued to the farmer. The inspection fee is K54.
  • If all conditions are fulfilled and the product is free from pests, a phytosanitary certificate is issued immediately after paying K15.50
  • Then, the farmer goes to the Agriculture Ministry, Agribusiness and Marketing Department in Lusaka or provincial headquarters to apply for an export permit which costs K35 and is issued within 24hrs
  • All payments are made at any Bank such as ZANACO, Investrust, Indo-Zambia Bank using Government deposit slips.
  • Finally, the farmer requests  a certificate of origin from the Zambia Revenue Authority in Lusaka or provincial headquarters or borders

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Zambia

Authors: Mathews Matimelo, Pritchard S. C. Mukuwa
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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