The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has started implementing the new veterinary services charges which are a schedule under the animal health regulation of 2016. The new fees ranges veterinary clinical services, export and import permits, sanitary and animal products, inspections related to importation and exports of livestock and its products as well as stock movement permits which covers inter-district or provincial. The fees increment has brought a lot of anxiety amongst the poultry and other livestock farmers in general due to the impact that will have on the cost of production and cost associated with accessing extension services. Resulting from that, the beef and poultry stakeholders convened at ZNFU attended by the representatives from the Ministry of fisheries and livestock. This was a dialogue meeting convened to appreciate why the fees have been hiked and also for the Ministry to get the concerns from the farmers. This meeting is also one of the many planned meetings aimed at addressing the issues of fees and levies and any other issues affecting the livestock industry.
These hiked fees are part of the many fees and levies which are expected to raise the cost of doing business in the livestock sector. The directive to increase the fees are being drawn from the national budget speech in which the Minister of Finance highlighted that the government intended to increase service fees and charges for all the services being offered by government. Livestock sector is being considered as an alternative sector which could help diversify the agriculture sector, as the focus in the past few decades has been on crops. Knowing the economic challenges the livestock sector is facing, any increased in the fees and levies impact negatively on the players especially smallholder farmers who rely mostly on government vet services to get first-hand information. A working committee has been instituted to come up with a response on the levies and fees and PAZ is part of this committee.