Gvt softens inflation blow for farmers

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Gweru (New Ziana) – The government is putting in place various measures, including possible tax waivers, to bring down the cost of fertilizers ahead of the summer cropping season, a senior government official has said.

Speaking at the Zimbabwe Farmers Union congress here, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary, John Bhasera said the measures were meant to ensure farmer viability in the face of high inflation and shortages of inputs.

The price of fertilisers and other farming inputs have escalated sharply in recent months, in part due to inflation, and also the supply disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The two countries are the biggest suppliers of fertilisers in the world.

Among other measures, Bhasera said the government had already scrapped duty on nitrogen fertiliser imports, and was negotiating with both the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Reserve Bank to also do the same for imported fertiliser inputs.

He said the Ministry was also negotiating with the central bank to cut interest rates for farmers as part of the broader measures to ensure farming viability.

“We are at an advanced (stage) in terms of negotiations with Ministry of Finance and RBZ and other relevant authorities so that the interest rates (for farmers) can be in the lower quarter of that range of 100 to 200 percent,” he said.

The government has also scrapped Value Added Tax on fertiliser.
New Ziana

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