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Farmers want quick release of duty-free machinery

…As Zimra slashes duty for farm machinery

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU


Farmers want the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to live to its words
by allowing the importation of duty-free machinery to give them a quick start to the 2020/2021 summer cropping season.


The development comes after the revenue collector gave a lifeline to farmers to import agriculture machinery to improve productivity on
farms.


Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Wonder Chabikwa told
Business Times that authorities should move with speed to remove bottlenecks so that farmers benefit from the dutyfree waiver.


“We don’t want a situation whereby farmers import their tractors or other machinery and are harassed at the border with some officials at the entry
points claiming that no official communication was done to them.

We just hope proper communication was already done,” Chabikwa said.


He said most farmers complained about some confusion regarding the
importation of solar irrigation pumps that were said to be part of duty-free solar products two years ago.


The importation of agriculture machinery comes at a time when the country’s output levels have been going down in the past years due to El
Nino induced droughts, poor planning and poor funding.


In a circular issued in July, Zimra said the tax collector will give a waiver to agricultural machinery and livestock imports to boost production
on the farms.


Zimra said some agricultural machinery and livestock that can be imported duty-free include manure spreaders and fertiliser distributors,
haymaking machinery, for sorting eggs, machines for preparing animal feed, agricultural tractors, cattle incubators for poultry, wheat seed, potassium chloride/ sulphate and live pure breeding pigs, goats and sheep.


Duty is calculated on the value for duty purposes which is derived from the Cost, Insurance and Freight value of the imported goods up to the point of entry into Zimbabwe.


In addition to the duty, the goods will attract VAT at 15%.


Importation by private individuals also benefit from the duty-free importations and can clear commercial goods up to a value of US$1,000
over the counter without the need to engage the services of a clearing agent.

Zimbabwe is expecting an output of around 700 000 tonnes of maize from a national requirement of 1.8m metric tonnes of maize for both human and livestock consumption.


This implies that the country is expected to import over 1m of grain this year, to see the nation through the ravaging drought.

In February this year, the United Nations World Food Programme claimed that over eight million Zimbabweans face starvation

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