Local entrepreneurs engaged in the business of selling Phane worm have been advised by the government to obtain appropriate documents and licenses required in selling and exporting the product.
In a statement released this week, the Ministry of Environment Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT) through the Department of Forestry and Range Resources (DFRR) says the requirement is 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 veld product must obtain a dealer and or export permit for that product.”
The government says 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 is aware that the Phane season is approaching in April and there is Phane trade locally and between Botswana and neighbouring countries. 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 neighbouring 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 are also advised to seek permission from land owners or farms in the event they want to enter their premises for harvesting. Failure to seek that consent is an offence punishable by law.
Potential exporters are further advised to contact Country Embassies to obtain information on licenses and or permits which will allow them to trade in different neighbouring countries.