DAR ES SALAAM
The government of Tanzania said Wednesday it is reviewing taxes imposed on meat production, which investors say posed a burden on industrial growth.
Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Abdallah Ulega, said the ministry has submitted tax review recommendations on meat processing industries to the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
"Our intention is to reduce taxes imposed on meat processing factories and where possible abolish them all. Our expectations are to see a boom in production of meat and other animal products to meet local demands," Ulega told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma.
Tanzania has the second largest population of cattle in Africa after Ethiopia, but the East African nation imports at least 2,000 tonnes of meat annually.
The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has also proposed for heavy taxes on imported meat products in order to discourage such imports that suffocated the local market, said Ulega.
The minister was responding to a question posed by Special Seats Member of Parliament Zainab Katimba who observed that heavy taxes imposed on meat production and imports of meat were discouraging investors from putting up meat processing plants.
"We urge the government to give a push to the industrialization drive by giving tax incentives to investors in meat processing factories," Katimba told the House.
In response, Ulega said Tanzania has 23 meat factories with a total capacity of processing 44,820.6 tonnes of meat annually.
Ulega said in 2016/17 at least 2,608.93 tonnes of meat were exported abroad, earning the country 5.68 million U.S. dollars, adding that the meat was exported to Oman, China, Vietnam, and Dubai.