Exempting subsistence farmers from land tax
EDITOR — With regards to the land tax, a levy which was initiated through the Finance Act No 8 of 2015, it is more realistic if the tax is only directed to largescale commercial farmers and spare the smallholder farmers.
Small scale farmers rely on agriculture for food security and are left with little grain to sell on the market.
Even those who do sell the surplus may do so through barter trade or exchange which is not really in monetary terms.
This will make it difficult for them to afford these levies when their agriculture is on a subsistence basis not commercial.
Some, if not the majority plant and use recycled seed due to unavailability of capital to buy certified seed, with a few lucky ones receiving support from their sons and daughters working in urban areas.
Those farmers who engage in more profitable farming activities like horticulture should of course pay more than those who consider farming solely for food security and not as business.
The idea is to lessen pressure on these smallholder farmers with the reality of a tight economic space the country finds itself in.
However we appreciate and acknowledge the role the Government has been playing in ensuring that the vulnerable communities in need of food are assisted through the Urban Food Programmes as well the School Feeding Programmes.
There is also a need to encourage those who benefited from The Land Reform Programme and other national programmes like Command Agriculture to fully utilise the land and recourses and inputs allocated to them.
This will do a lot for the good and benefit of the nation at large especially in the face of such global challenges like climate change. Felix Zonke