Government should strengthen its tax base collection to seriously support the livestock industry which can effectively contribute to the growth of the country’s economy, says Zambia livestock traders’ executive director Michael Kabesha.
Mr Kabesha said the future of livestock industry was bright and that if properly harnessed, it could grow the economy and work to the advantage of the Government’s decision for diversification.
He however said the Government must deal with large livestock dealers decisively to deter them from negatively impacting the local small-scale farmers.
“The relevant authorities must put in more effort in ensuring that small-scale farmers are given the much desired attention to sustain the sector that can easily boost the economy,” he said.
He alleged that some animals that were smuggled from countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique had negatively affected the local farmers.
He cited the goats which were being sold between K300-K400 while those from other countries were bigger and affordable and fetched more money.
Mr Kabesha said therefore that Zambia needed to strengthen the tax base so that livestock farmers benefitted from the diversification programmes meant to sustain the livelihood of the Zambian people.
He said there should be vigorous sensitization on the importance of livestock farming for diversification purposes so that the industry could progress.
Mr Kabesha said small scale farmers were poised to reap more benefits from livestock agriculture if policy direction in the sector was implemented.
He said Government’s effort to diversify the agriculture sector should not be restricted to crops alone, but should include small livestock farming such as poultry, piggery, and goats among others.