Africa Moyo Business Reporter
Government has with immediate effect introduced Livestock Development Levy that will affect people involved in the production of day old chicks, buying raw milk and slaughtering beef cattle. Producers of day old chicks will pay 1 cent per chick, while buyers of raw milk shall also pay the same amount per litre. Those who slaughter cattle for beef will pay $10 of the value of a fifth quarter per animal slaughtered.
The Livestock Development Levy, which was introduced through Statutory Instrument 129 of 2017, will be used to fund a number of initiatives including the promotion of surveillance, prevention and control of animal disease in accordance with the Animal Health Act (Chapter 19:01). The Statutory Instrument is a supplement to the Government Gazette dated October 13, 2017.
Reads part of SI129 of 2017: “Every person engaged in the business of — (a) producing chicks; or (b) buying raw milk; or (c) slaughtering cattle; shall pay a Livestock Development Levy. . . . the levy shall be — payable to the Agricultural Marketing Fund no later than seven days of the month following the month in which — (i) the chicks were produced; (ii) the cattle were slaughtered; (iii) the milk bought . . . ”
Some of the uses of the levy will be to promote research on appropriate technologies in livestock production and animal health; transparent grading and classification of livestock and livestock products; orderly marketing of livestock; investment in veterinary infrastructure and sustainable animal husbandry practices. According to the law, the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, shall appoint a disbursement committee consisting of one member of the Agricultural Marketing Authority; one from the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services; the other will be nominated by the producers association to represent farmers while the last one will come from the processors’ association.
The committee will make recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture on the disbursement of the money. Anyone who, without lawful excuse, fails or refuses to pay, collect or remit any levy or any interest or surcharge connected therewith, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level six or jail time not exceeding six months, or both the fine and imprisonment. The country needs money for veterinary experts to promptly respond to diseases outbreaks, as well as put perimeter fences along highways among other things but some of these activities are ignored due to lack of funds.