Farmers win big in 2016/2017 Budget as CS slashes taxes, waives debt
10 June 2016, 07:05
Nairobi - Tea and sugar cane farmers will earn more after the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury Mr Henry Rotich removed levies on the two crops. These levies include ad valorem levy on tea and the sugar development levy.
The CS said the farmers planting these two crops have been experiencing decline in income due to many factors including high levies. “In order to improve the earnings of the farmers, I propose to remove these levies,” he said adding that institutions hitherto funded from these levies will now be funded from the exchequer.
The CS said the Government will also roll out a programme covering 100,000 acres in Galana-Kulalu and other designated suitable schemes throughout the country. Thesesta, he said, will be done under a viable business framework that involves the private sector to reduce reliance on rain fed agriculture.
“In order to realise our goals in this area, we shall continue investing in irrigated agriculture to build resilience in the economy and also improve our food security. We are pleased Mr Speaker, by the progress made in the implementation of the 10,000 acres pilot phase in Galana-Kulalu,” he told Kenyans while presenting the 2016/2017 Budget Statement at Parliament Buildings on Wednesday.
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Mr Rotich allocated KES 20.8 billion for on-going irrigation projects countrywide including the Galana-Kulalu Irrigation Project interventions to transform agriculture from subsistence to productive commercial farming; Mwea Irrigation Project and the National Expanded Irrigation Programme.
The CS also set aside KES 4.9 billion to subsidise fertiliser and seeds in order to improve yield and output for farmers in addition to reserving a further KSh1.6 billion for strategic food reserves. “Mr Speaker, to enable the country maintain adequate food reserves, I have allocated KES 1.6 billion for Strategic Food Reserves,” he said.
The CS allocated a total of KES 8.4 billion for acquisition of the offshore patrol vessel for the fisheries sub sector, the modernisation of the Kenya Meat Commission; the revival of the pyrethrum sector, livestock and crop insurance scheme, livestock value chain support and the mechanisation of agriculture.
He also set aside KES1 billion for Crop Diversification Programme in the Meru region for the Miraa Farmers and KES 2.4 billion for Coffee Debt Waiver and STABEX – funds offered in form of farm input loans to enable coffee farmers access farm inputs.