Despite the Federal Government’s endorsement of the tax holiday on Animal Feeds to boost the livestock sector, the price of the feeds has continued to soar across the board in the last month. Though in no particular order, it has been observed that the feeds – poultry, fish, pig feeds, and others – have attracted as high as three to five per cent increase, to the detriment of farmers.
For instance, feed finisher for chickens, previously in the region of N3,600, irrespective of brand, has increased to between N3,900 to N4, 000, in the last two weeks. The same goes for starters mash, layers mash and others. On March 6, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded a bill to the Senate for the total exemption of animal feeds from the new 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT), which took effect from February 1, 2020.
The President’s letter was titled: ‘Transmission of the Finance Act, 2019 (Amendment) Bill for consideration and passage into law.’ The letter read, in part: “Animal Feeds are included in the list of Basic Food items that are exempted from Value Added Tax; and aspects of the tax holiday incentive for agriculture, by targeting this incentive to small and medium-sized companies that invest in the primary crop, livestock, forestry and fishing agricultural production. This incentive is also to be administered by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission pursuant to the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act.”
But one month after, the farmers and other stakeholders who had hitherto received the news with jubilation have begun to groan under the soaring prices, even in the midst of low sales occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors. Guardian