The Zimbabwean beef and poultry sectors have expressed concerned over increasing regulatory and production costs arising from the imposition of Statutory Instrument (SI) 129 of 2017.
This instrument makes it mandatory for all producers, buyers and processors of raw milk, meat and beef to pay a new Livestock Development Levy (LDL).
The levy is administered by the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) and uses a three-tier rate that requires poultry producers to pay a mandatory US$0.01 cent per day-old chick.
Milk processors are now required to pay a US$0.01 cent levy per litre of raw-milk bought, while cattle abattoirs are levied “US$10 of the value of a fifth quarter slaughtered.” The government said the levy would be used to develop the beef, dairy and poultry sectors.
Emphasis will be placed on the surveillance, prevention and control of animal diseases. Further, the decree said the levy will be used to fund appropriate research into livestock production, the development of sustainable veterinary infrastructure, livestock marketing as well as grading and classification of livestock products.
In its latest industry update bulletin, the country’s Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) said following the promulgation of the decree, its affiliate associations have met to study the impacts of the new levy on the value chain.
“Of serious concern to the industry is the increased regulatory costs arising from the Statutory Instrument (129 of 2017), which comes at a time when the beef and poultry sectors are faced with outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) and avian influenza, respectively.
“The SI is also at variance with the excellent private-public sector collaborations currently being fostered within the industry to boost productivity,” the council noted.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Meat Processors Association of Zimbabwe, Stock-feed Manufacturers Association of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Poultry Producers Association, Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers, Zimbabwe Farmers Union, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union, Commercial Farmers Union, Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Trust, Zimbabwe Association of Abattoirs and the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council.