By ZBC Reporter
FARMERS have welcomed the announcement of free import duty on top dressing fertiliser, saying it will ensure sufficient supplies that should translate into increased agricultural production.
The mid-term budget review has brought some relief to farmers, who no longer anticipate fertiliser shortages following the removal of duty on top dressing fertiliser.
The farmers hailed the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube for prioritising productivity in the mid-term fiscal policy review.
“We welcome the incentive of free duty on AN fertilizer, we have been facing critical shortage of the commodity and this has been affecting our yields,” said one farmer.
“The free duty initiative will boost productivity but the minister should also ensure smooth and transparency importation process is done,” said another farmer.
Tobacco Association of Zimbabwe, President George Seremwa commended the free duty incentive and appealed to government to quickly resolve the issue of backdating payments of tobacco farmers who delivered their crop before the foreign exchange rate auction system.
“This incentive will enable all farmers who delivered their tobacco to fully utilise their free funds, but a lot of the farmers lost their value during the 1:25 exchange rate and relevant authorities promised to backdate them, we hope if farmers get real value for the tobacco they will be able to import AN fertilizer and boost productivity,” he highlighted.
In the mid-term budget review, Professor Mthuli Ncube announced that approved manufacturing companies will be allowed to import 120 thousand metric tonnes of fertilizer free of duty for the 2020/2021 summer cropping season.