Minister of livestock and fisheries, Michael Katambo says government will revise the new veterinary fees which recently came into effect. This after protests from the Zambian National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and other industry players.
“We will come up with agreed fees for veterinary services after consultations,” he says.
Katambo recently signed statutory instrument number 105 of 2016, the Animal Health Order of 2016, to hike basic livestock vet fees by as much as 400%.
This provoked sharp reaction from ZNFU president Jervis Zimba who said the hike contradicted government policy to make agriculture the centre of diversified economic growth.
“Farmers’ incomes would be eroded as the levies they would be paying for veterinary services would be costly,” Zimba had said.
Livestock farmers also complained the new fees were reducing their profit margins.
Wynter Kaluba, a livestock farmer from Lusaka claimed his veterinary bill for his pigs increased from a mere K50 to K500.
“This is on a sample population of orders. The bigger the sample the higher the bill. And that is hurting my profits,” he said.
Kaluba claimed small producers were now shunning veterinary services, creating an environment for diseases to break out.