Beekeepers seek urgent govt intervention, say levies crippling apiculture sector


The Zambia Apiculture Trade Association (ZAPITRADE) has asked government to withdraw and rescind the Statutory Instrument (SI) 52 of 2013 as it is crippling the apiculture sector.

The group argues that levies on bee products were posing serious negative effect on incomes of rural village beekeepers and exporters.

ZAPITRADE Chairman, Daniel Ball, said these levies were threatening the very livelihood of the poorest sector of the population in Zambia.

“We fully respect the need for government revenues, however, our members already participate fully and formally in paying the export permit levies to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and pay both VAT and income tax as they are in the formal sector.

“However, as you know, in remote parts of Zambia there are few options for earning an income, and these levies threaten the very livelihood of the village beekeepers who depend on the honey exporters/processors for a market,” he said.

Ball noted that most honey produced in Zambia was exported and represented valuable income in the form of direct payments to beekeepers, employees’ salaries, company revenue and tax revenues to Zambia.

The association, he said, represented in excess of K300 million worth of investment in the apiculture sector over the past 20 years.

He added that yearly spending by processors in direct payments to village beekeepers throughout Zambia had been worth approximately K75 million.

“All of this is currently in danger of collapse and we request for your timely and immediate intervention as exports can no longer move and a new season of honey purchasing is due in two weeks but given the crisis with levies, our members will not be purchasing,” he said.

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