Increase duty on imported edible oils – ZNFU

Christine Daka, small farmer in Zambia

The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has called for increased duty on imported crude and semi-processed edible oils to encourage local value addition.
ZNFU president Evelyn Nguleka said the growth of the Zambian non-traditional crop sector has been constrained by the threat of cheap imports such as edible oils.
Dr Nguleka said such were some of the measures Government should implement to address challenges affecting sustained growth of non-traditional products in the country.
She suggested that duty on crude edible oils should be pegged at 10 per cent while semi-processed edible oils be put at 15 per cent.
“Government should increase duty on imported edible oils to encourage local value addition and the growing of oil seed crops such as soya beans and sunflower,” she said.
Government should also zero-rate Value Added Tax (VAT) on locally produced agricultural products to enhance competitiveness against imported products.
Dr Nguleka said Government needs to urgently address challenges affecting sustained growth of non-traditional crops such as soya beans, coffee, cotton, wheat, barley and rice among others.
Dr Nguleka said there was also need for more investment in electricity generation to improve power supply in farming areas where production of food is done under irrigation.
She said the Government should exempt farmers from paying road levy as on-farm equipments are not used on roads and cannot damage such infrastructure.
“The Bank of Zambia should allow farmers to quote contracts in foreign currency while trading in Kwacha to maintain the cost of production low so that agriculture products remain competitive. All these are practical programmes aimed at developing the non-traditional crop sector,” Dr Nguleka added.