The budget allocation for the agricultural sector will be a forward step into the new dawn as government seeks to breathe life into their manifesto. The budget allocation in accordance to the 10 functions of government, saw 19.5% belonging to the economic affairs within which agriculture belongs. The rest was shared among General public services, Defense, Public Order and Safety, Environmental Protection Housing and Amenities, Health, Recreation Culture and Religion, Education and Social Protection.
The minister of finance and national planning emphasized the importance of enhancing agricultural productivity and diversification. A provision of K5.4 billion has been proposed for agricultural inputs with Intended to support one million beneficiaries through the farmer input support programme which will be implemented via a comprehensive agricultural support schedule. The government contribution will be more than doubled to K3600 per beneficiary from the current K1700. With K960 million on strategic food reserves. The Nasanga farming block in Serenje apportioned K110 million of the economics affairs share.
To support the livestock sub-sector the minister proposed the removal of 5% customs duty on importation of cattle breeding stock. To address the shortage of day-old chicks the suspension of 5% customs duty on grandparent or parent stock of day-old chick imported by a breeding company for a period of twelve months effective 1 November 2021.
To support agro processing the minister proposed to extend to 31 December 2022 suspension of customs duty on importation of refrigerated trucks., further he proposed to extend relief to processors of milk and manufacturers of medicaments. As the revenue lost will be minimized. To harmonize customs duty rates applicable on tyres and lorries and buses as well as construction and agricultural machinery as the minister to drop rates from 40 to 15% or k5 per Kg, whichever is greater. the revenue loss from the measure is k16 million.
Government also seeks to aggressively develop farming blocks like the Nasanga which has been abandoned, to reduce on rain fed agriculture operationalize ongoing irrigation infrastructure projects. As they embark on penetrating the fish market as exporters only after strengthening of fish feed and fingerling accessibility and availability.
To meet the proposed expenditure governments expects to raise a total of K173 billion, of this amount K77.9 billion (45%) to come from taxes K20.7 billion (12%) from nontax revenues and K343 million (1%) from other revenue. with K24.5 (14%) billion borrowed domestically while K49.7 billion will be externally sourced.
“The budget is therefore an initial step towards repositioning the country to fully exploit its human and natural resources for years to come,” said Dr Musokotwane during his budget speech on 29 October 2021 in the national assembly. During the post budget town hall symposium held on November 1 at Mulungushi international conference sector in 2021. Most stakeholders commended the government on an ambitious budget also expressed how key their consistency to precise strategy is equally essential to achieving results just like funding.
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