AGRICULTURE

State asked to review taxation on livestock products to boost production

'The government must be sensitive to the challenges facing the sector before introducing new levies to help achieve food security."

In Summary

• Farmers have blamed the heavy taxation for the low production and poor quality products posing a threat to food security.

• Narok county Dairy Farmers Cooperative Union chairman Simon Paror said farmers have been subjected to unfair competition from their counterparts from the neighbouring countries

Workers at Olkalou Dairy Cooling Plant pour out milk delivered due to over supply in 2010
DAIRY SECTOR: Workers at Olkalou Dairy Cooling Plant pour out milk delivered due to over supply in 2010
Image: FILE

The government has been asked to reduce taxation on livestock products to lower the cost of animal production in the country.

Farmers have blamed the heavy taxation for the low production and poor quality products posing a threat to food security.

Narok county Dairy Farmers Cooperative Union chairman Simon Paror said farmers have been subjected to unfair competition from their counterparts from the neighbouring countries, where the cost of production is relatively low.

 

 This, he said, has led to an influx of livestock products from other parts of the world into the country, pushing local farmers out of business.

Speaking on behalf of farmers during a public participation meeting on the draft Livestock bill (2018) in Kisumu on Thursday, Paror said the government must be sensitive to the challenges facing the sector before introducing new levies to help achieve food security.

He said the bill must spell out what should be levied and the margins to help cushion farmers and boost production.

He added that the bill must focus on enhancing the quality of livestock breeds to ensure the country produces high-quality yields to compete effectively in the global market.

 The chairman further called for enforcement of existing laws to rein in on unscrupulous traders dealing in substandard feeds and breeds.

Assistant director of Livestock Josephine Kamau said the task force spearheading the fine-tuning of the bill will consider the farmers' recommendations before it is forwarded to the Cabinet for approval.

“We are meeting stakeholders across the country to incorporate their views into the bill which we hope to table before parliament by end of this month,” she said.