‘Levies cripple livestock industry’

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PLAYERS in the livestock industry said government should harmonise the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) Veterinary Public Health (VPH) and the Rural District Councils (RDC) laws as they were impacting negatively on the competitiveness of the livestock value chain.

Business Reporter

Presenting challenges faced by the livestock sector in Zimbabwe, the pig value chain group representative Berean Mukwende said levies charged by the different organisations were too high in comparison to the service they offered back to the industry.

“The movement permit and police clearance is important for disease control and stock theft control, but they is need to revisit police clearance of pigs and access whether it is necessary.

“African swine fever (ASF) certification is necessary for disease control but there may be need for a two tier system where small-scale producers pay a lesser fee to encourage compliance,” Mukwende said.

He, however, said there was also need for EMA to conduct wide stakeholder consultations to understand the logic for the regulations, review its fees and raise awareness of its programmes.

Speaking at the same event, beef group representative Nyasha Chishakwe said the RDC fees were very unrealistic to the industry.

“Especially in Matebeleland distances are too long to collect police and the veterinary department to move cattle from home to the auction. Vet charges at the auction were another duplication of services,” Chishakwe said.

He said the RDC land taxation collection was also ineffective as currently no services were being provided to the tax payers.

“Players are not motivated to pay RDC levies because lack of service provision such as unfenced plots and encroachment into plots by non-beneficiaries and lack of control on breeding,” he said.

He added that government should remove multiple levies at the abattoirs which were being charged per animal.

The dairy sector group representative said government should streamline the process for the dairy players, saying that currently the players require three permits for the livestock movement which includes police clearance, vet clearance and RDC levy.

The group added that the milk processors require multiple registrations with Veterinary Public Health, Dairy Services, Local Authority, EMA and all these were for a fee.

Commenting on the poultry sector challenges, the group representative said the sector was happy with the laws on animal health, but there was need to lobby the government to ensure that agriculture and specifically for animal health obtains a fair dispensation from the National Budget, this will ensure that the Veterinary Services department will have adequate resources.

However, the stock feed group representative said fees paid for registration and import and export permits, specifically AMA, District Valuer Services (DVS), registration fees for feed formulation, premix and fees for testing of feeds was too high.
“We fully appreciate role of levies, fees, but what is lacking is consultation at fee formulation and use of services for the benefit of the value chain,” said the group.

The group, however, recommended that there was need for transparency and accountability, issues of enforceability of disclosing fees and levies collected and how they are used for both private and public sector.

1 COMMENT

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