Poultry breeders want VAT slashed
KAMPALA- UGANDA ----Poultry breeders and feeds manufacturers have expressed their concern over the increasing taxes government levies on the Industry which they say increases the cost of poultry farming.
“Taxes levied on both breeding companies and feeds manufacturers are too high. This has pushed up the prices for feeds on the market yet feeds are essentials in the poultry business. “The high cost of feeds has opened doors for fake feeds to circulate on the market which negatively affects the poultry,” said Dr Brian Kyagulanyi the Marketing Manager of Biyinzinka Poultry International Limited (BPIL). The players note that the high taxes has driven up the cost of both one day old chicks and Animal feeds. This has exposed many farmers to poor quality feeds and chicks on the market which has affected the sectors growth as compared to other East African Community countries. BPIL is one of the leading breeders of one day chicks and also manufacturers of poultry and Livestock feeds. Kyagulanyi urges that for the poultry sector to develop, government should subsidize the costs by reducing on the value added Tax (VAT) levied on the Feeds Industries so that the feeds are produced at good quality but also at a low cost. Apart from subsidizing the costs of Poultry feeds, sector players also want the Government through its relevant Ministries to come up with a policy that can govern the hatching of chicks. According to Kyagulanyi, the absence of such a policy has compromised the quality of the day-oldchicks supplied on the market by various breeders. Poultry farming is one of the enterprises which the Government of Uganda, through the various income generating programs such as operation Wealth creation, has singled out as one of the enterprises which the government should promote because of its multiplies effect in fighting poverty among the local people. The by-products of the enterprises have wider market both locally, regionally and Internationally. The available market especially in the East African Community Countries has enticed many Ugandans to engage poultry however majority of the farmers are of small scale due to the high costs of poultry inputs such as disease’s management, high cost of poultry feeds and high costs for one day old chicks. This has affected the potential of Ugandan farmers to out compete their counterparts in the various EAC Countries due to limited production of poultry products. Some of the poultry farmers talked to East African Business Week said apart from the high cost of the farming inputs, many poultry farmers still lack skills in bird rearing.