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Remove Taxes On Post Harvesting Handling Equipment, Farmers Tell Govt

Ugandan farmers under their Umbrella organization, Uganda National farmers Federation have asked government to remove import duty and other taxes on post harvesting handling equipment and facilities.

The President of the  Farmers’ Federation Dr.Dick Nuwamanya Kamuganga  said the removal of taxes will make  the equipment and other facilities  affordable.

”This will solve the problem of poor post harvest by farmers which is a big challenge in the country.”

“The quality for some of our Agricultural produces  especially grain is not good enough.  The problem is associated  with poor post harvesting handling,  many of our farmers  lack  modern post harvesting handling facilities  not because  they  wish but due to the cost implication associated with them. The government needs to come in by removing taxes imposed on the facilities,” Kamugunga told Journalist at the federation’s   Offices in Kampala.

Currently very few farmers  have access to  value addition  equipment  and facilities due to the high costs on the market. This is because the government  taxes both VAT  and Import duty  which makes  the facilities  expensive  and inaccessible  by farmers  and traders.

He explained that the compromising quality of the Uganda grains especially maize on many occasion fail to penetrate the markets in the region especially in the East African community market.

“Kenya used to be the leading destination for Ugandan maize but the country is shifting the market to other countries such as Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia because of the good quality products they have.”

Unless  the government  puts in strict measures  to ensure  quality of our produce, we are likely  to continue  being  considered  last  suppliers  of produces, like maize , in addition  to buying  our maize  at low prices, “ he explained.

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On the dwindling prices for maize in the Country, the farmers are advising government to review the free market economy policy like what other countries have done by setting up minimum farm gate.

The president  explained that  whereas  Ugandan economy is a liberal  one,  it is vital  that a minimum  price  should  be set  below which  no one  is allowed  to buy agricultural produces  in the country  from farmers in order to help them recover their investment.

The National Publicity Secretary for the Federation Grace Musimami also noted that  the government should  implement  the recently  launched  Grain  Trade Policy  to ensure  proper  post harvesting  handling  and  structured  marketing  of  grains for domestic  consumption as well as  export  market. ”

This will increase competitiveness of Ugandan grains in the regional  and International markets respectively.”

 

 

 

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