Runyararo Muzavazi Herald Reporter
Farmers in the livestock production sector have cried foul over various taxes they are expected to pay dubbed “beef sector compliance costs”.
The farmers are expected to pay levies to abattoirs, Agricultural Marketing Association, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Veterinary Services, among others, which they say erode their hard earned money.
Speaking at a stakeholder dialogue meeting last week, Zimbabwe Farmers Union executive director Mr Paul Zakariya said statutory bodies needed to be more coordinated.
“Statutory bodies need to be more coordinated and should come from a point where they improve the facilities used by farmers on production basis and profitability to justify their taxes to avoid complains about bad roads, damaged dip tanks among others,” he said.
“There is a mismatch because farmers are not seeing what the authorities are doing with the money collected as levies. The levies are supposed to be used to finance the rehabilitation of roads and other facilities.”
Mr Zakariya said there were middlemen making profits at the expense of farmers.
“There is need to straighten the processes so that a proper value proposition is presented to the farmer so that the farmer steps over the middlemen and goes directly to the market,” he said.
“Farmers need to engage in agricultural policy dialogues to equip themselves with the right knowledge for them to be successful and improve yields, profitability and technology.”
Mr Zakariya said farmers should unlock value from the available resources by taking livestock production as a business.
“Take livestock production, particularly cattle as a business, taking advantage of the high demands of beef the world over,” he said. “Farmers need to participate in agricultural policy dialogues to attain the required knowledge for one to improve in production, profitability and technology.”