Beef, leather lobby group seek policy revision

THE beef and leather value chain sector is lobbying for the revision of policies and regulatory frameworks that govern the sector in an effort to improve its operating environment.

BY TALENT GUMPO

The sector, last year, launched the Zimbabwe Support to the Beef and Leather Value Chain Technical Assistance Project which is aimed at increasing the overall competitiveness of the beef and leather value chains.

The project will be piloted in the seven districts in the Matabeleland North province.

Speaking on the sidelines of the stakeholders’ workshop held at the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel on Thursday, project policy expert, James Jowa said 26 regulatory constraints that are negatively impacting on the beef leather value chain had been identified.

“We have identified 26 policy and regulatory constraints that are impacting on the beef leather value chain. We will present them to the relevant authorities for them to undertake the necessary reforms to improve the operating environment in the beef leather value chain sector,” Jowa said.

According to Jowa, the policy and regulatory constraints include rural district levy, the 75 cents tax charged per kilogramme of every hide exported, process of obtaining permits for the importation agriculture inputs, administrative costs charged when acquiring permits, regulatory issues-there is no agreed agriculture policy among many others.

“There is the issue of rural district council levy, 10,5%, which is charged for every beast sold, the farmers are concerned that they are not seeing the profits from the amount they are paying as the fee is too high.

“Another constraint is the 75 cents tax per kilogramme of every hide or skin exported from the country, the tax has paralysed the hides market, resulting in them (hides) accumulating and compromising their quality,” he said.

Jowa said the sector is also being stifled by the long process of acquiring permits for the importation of agricultural inputs and is time consuming, saying they are pushing for the ease of doing business.

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