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The Agricultural Marketing Authority has suspended the imposition of a poultry levy after stakeholders agreed that the move would cripple farmers who are already suffering from economic hardships. The Statutory Instrument, Poultry and Poultry Products Development Regulations, 2013 required all poultry producers to register, pay levies and submit returns to the authority.

It also stated that a processing fee of five cents per kilogramme on all poultry meat and poultry products imported for resale had to be paid to the Poultry Industry Development Fund, while one cent would be paid for every chick sold or retained by a breeder.

The fees and levies were to be used for THE development of the poultry industry.

The poultry covered under the instrument included indigenous or exotic, ducks, turkey, guinea fowl and ostrich. AMA operations manager Mr Maxwell Chikanda said the instrument failed to sail through after a realisation that the poultry industry was still at an infant stage and would be affeted by the imposition of the levies.

“The industry is not conditioned enough and imposing levies would affect development. Farmers are encouraged to continue registering with AMA so that they can access funding and also have track records on performance.”

Source : The Herald