horticultural produce.jpgLocal farmers are set to benefit from the increase in duty for horticultural produce that came into effect on the first of this month.

Duty for fresh farm produce such as potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cabbages, carrots, peas, beans, mushrooms and spinach went up to 25% with effect from the 1st of January.

The measure was announced in the 2012 budget as part of measures aimed at levelling the playing field in light of competition from the region.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union Executive Director, Mr. Paul Zakariya said the move paves way for local producers to show their capabilities and enhance production capacity.

“Producers are now presented with an opportunity to supply produce onto the market so that the country does not rely on imports…..honestly, Zimbabwe can produce potatoes, tomatoes, leafy vegetables. Do we really need to import, let’s avoid a situation where agricultural produce is dumped on us,” said Mr Zakariya.

The duties are however subject to suspension during the season when local supplies fail to meet demand.

A customs duty of 5% also came into effect for wheat flour on the 1st of January in order to encourage wheat production and the viability of the local milling industry.