Lusaka ~ Tue, 29 Sept 2020
By ZR Reporter
The lifting of the duty was a “great relief”, said association spokesperson and Kalimba Farms chairman Bill Thomas.
In his Budget speech to Parliament on Friday (September 25, 2020), Minister of Finance Hon. Dr Bwalya Ng’andu said the export duty on raw crocodile skins would be removed entirely, rather than the previous temporary suspension announced in March as part of measures to support the economy amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are pleased to report that the suspension of this duty earlier in the year has already had the desired effect to reverse the decline in exported skin numbers, and our estimated projections have risen almost 20 percent from 22,900 skins in 2019 to 28,600 skins in 2020,” said Mr Thomas.
“We still have a long way to go to achieve the results of previous years, but this permanent duty removal helps restore confidence in the industry, and we look forward to working closely with Government to not only increase the export of raw skins but also produce finished crocodile leather and products and therefore add value to a primary product in line with Government policy.”
“The duty imposed in January 2020 severely impeded the growth of the industry, which was already constrained due to animal welfare and best management practice conditions imposed on farmers by European Union-based buyers. This had placed a huge and in some cases impossible management and financial burden on farmers to achieve compliance,” he explained.
“Any tax imposed on a primary producer defeats the objective of creating employment and earning foreign exchange for a country, especially when there are no ‘super profits’ for crocodile farmers.”