Cookies on Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.


Continuing to use means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Your search results

Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

How to import seed as a farmer


Recognize the problem

Farmers who cultivate vegetables such as okra, cabbage, rape and others experience difficulties in accessing seeds from local sources. This brings about the need to import seeds to satisfy market and farmer needs. In order to import, farmers need to understand import procedures for Zambia.


To meet the international plant trade requirements, Zambia has the Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Service (PQPS) located within the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI). PQPS is responsible for movement of all plants and plant products, including seeds, coming in and going out of Zambia. PQPS has offices in Chilanga (Head Office), Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Mpika, Kapiri Mposhi, Kafue, Nakonde, Ndola, Chililabombwe, Livingstone, Chirundu, Kazungula and Sesheke. In areas not covered by PQPS, the Provincial Agricultural Coordinator Offices (PACO), or District Agricultural Coordinator Offices (DACO) assist in carrying out PQPS duties. Another key institute in seed importation is the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) located in Chilanga, near Lusaka. SCCI is notified each time seeds are imported to get authorisation.


  • Farmer (importer) obtains information from exporter, other farmers and/or agrotraders on intended seeds for import: source (company, physical address and country), quantity, border entry for the seed (e.g. Chirundu or Nakonde) and the transportation means (air, road or rail).
  • Farmer applies for/obtains a “Notification to Import Seed” at SCCI.
  • Farmer goes to nearest PQPS office to apply for a “Plant Import Permit (PIP)”. Farmer provides the “Notification to Import Seed” to the Plant Health Inspector (PHI) at the PQPS office.
  • PHI checks if the particular seed type has been imported before and issues the “PIP” to the farmer. If not, the PHI carries out a Pest Risk Analysis to check for any risks that the seed could bring to Zambia and generates conditions for a new PIP and issues it.
  • Farmer pays for the PIP at the authorised bank (about K5 per 30MT / per truck) and shows the receipt to the PHI to collect the PIP.
  • Farmer collects the PIP and goes to Department of Agribusiness to apply for an “Import Permit”.
  • Farmer can then import.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Zambia

Authors: Maimouna S. Abass Luangala
tel: +260 211278141, +260967274853 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

Plantwise Factsheets Library app

Get all of the factsheets and pest management decision guides from this website in an offline format via the Plantwise Factsheets Library app.