ZIMBABWE – The government of Zimbabwe has suspended duty on selected commodities among them powdered raw milk, fertilised eggs, ammonium fertilisers among other critical goods, reports the Herald.

However, according to the Government Gazette, raw wine all for approved importers and manufactures featured on goods in the exemption list.

Customs and Excise duty exemptions have been given time-lines with fertilisers and wines suspension running for 12 months from January 01 while fertilised poultry eggs for hatching have six months duty suspension.

“The principal regulations are amended in section 9Q, suspension of duty on powdered milk imported by approved importers,” reads part of the gazette.

Suspension of duty on fertilised eggs is meant to ensure recovery of the poultry sector that was recently hit by Avian Flu.

Anthony Mandiwanza, Dairiboard’s chief executive officer – a major producer – hailed the move saying it was vital in growing the milk industry’s production capacity and meeting customer demands.

“The extension of duty suspension on powdered milk raw materials is a welcome development as it will assist us in procuring raw materials at a base cost.

“The move will grow our throughput as it helps us to improve production capacity especially in this situation where we have a very high demand,” said Mr Mandiwanza.

The waiver has also been extended to fertiliser, suspending duty on imported ammonium nitrate fertilisers by approved importers for the next 12 months.

Chemplex Corporation chief executive officer Tapuwa Mashingaidze, commended the move saying it was critical for the boost production in the farming industry.

He, however, implored authorities to encourage procurement of local fertilisers in order to capacitate local firms that were being affected by critical shortage of foreign currency.

“The suspension of duty on fertiliser imports is a welcome development considering that we are a country that is striving to grow production in agriculture sector.

“We, however, continue to advocate for fertiliser procurement (by farmers and retailers) process to give priority to local fertilisers producers,” said Mr Mashingaidze.

President Mnangagwa has declared the country’s future economic development will be anchored on agriculture, mining and tourism among other key sectors, calling for the need to support these economic enablers.