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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Zambian Crocodile Farmers Association commends government’s move to suspend export duty

Economy Zambian Crocodile Farmers Association commends government’s move to suspend export duty

The Zambian Crocodile Farmers Association has commended government’s move to suspend export duty on crocodile skins as part of measures to support the economy amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu on Friday announced various measures that government is undertaking to cushion business from the economic impact posed by the virus outbreak.

“In order to provide relief to businesses, government will suspend export duty on precious metals and crocodile skins,” Ng’andu told a news conference in Lusaka.

Kalimba Farm Board Chair and Zambia Crocodile Farmers Association Publicity Secretary Bill Thomas welcomed the suspension and noted it came at an opportune time when the industry faced severe challenges and liquidity problems due to the high export duty imposed in the 2019 Budget.

“We are grateful that the honourable minister and the government has listened to industry and seen the wider benefits of easing this burden on the sector,” said Mr Thomas. “This suspension of duty essentially saves the industry from collapse and will go a long way to protecting rural jobs and generating foreign exchange earnings.”
Furthermore it is hoped that in the not too distant future, finished crocodile products will be available for both the domestic, tourism and export markets.”

In January 2020, government introduced a 10 percent levy that required crocodile farmers to pay duty, up front, before they exported their produce. Because of the tax, crocodile skins valued at about US$1.3 million remained in cold storage due to the inability of some farmers to pay the tax; at least two crocodile farms closed and two others were planning to cease operations.

Mr Thomas said that Zambia’s crocodile skins were prized the world over for high-end footwear, handbags and garments, offering employment to at least a thousand people locally. And that, any negative shocks to the industry could lead to job losses, loss of revenue to government and worse, the collapse of the sub-sector.

In 2018, Zambia exported about 31,685 farmed crocodile skins, but in 2019 the exports are estimated to have slumped to 22,000, a third of what was exported in 2015.

The global market for crocodile skins – which are used to manufacture luxury items like high-end footwear, handbags, leather accessories, belts and wallets sold by such companies as Hermes, Gucci, Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton – is valued at about US$100 million.

Crocodile meat is also considered a delicacy in some Asian countries, and is rapidly gaining popularity in the local market.

Crocodile farming is a niche business that in Africa is dominated by Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa.

12 COMMENTS

  1. How is this news …just carry on killing crocs instead of commending the govt for doing its job…I bet you its the Chinks who consider croc meat a delicacy no surprise why we are in this mess!

  2. Great, time is ripe to full them evil reptiles. Please extend the cropping to all rivers and lakes in the country, especially Luapula, Kariba and Kabompo. Let’s mint a bit of money from those ugly beasts. I hate them. They killed my uncle

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  3. The duty should never hv been imposed. If govt wanted croc skins to be processed in Zambia, they should asked IDC or Bata Shoe Co PLC to look at feasibility of doing that in Zambia. The farmers hv no reason to thank govt for coming to its senses. Govt is always duty-bound to behave properly, otherwise it has business being govt.

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  4. Why should anybody look dwn upon croc meat? It actually tastes like fish. I hv eaten b4 in Kenya at one of Nairobi’s popular night clubs. Fish actually eat any dead organic item in water, including drowned humans. They start with eyes whn eating dead humans. Humans in turn eat fish. Nothing surprising there. It’s the food chain; eat for u shall also be eaten.

  5. Matador – Crocs play a crucial role in the ecosystem especially in Rivers …they are the undertakers of the river without them their would disease and poisoned rivers with rotting flesh.

  6. Duty should be reduced on everything at this time around. We are too distressed due to the Corona virus pandemic.

  7. “The Zambian Crocodile Farmers Association has commended government’s move to suspend export duty on crocodile skins as part of measures to support the economy amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

    This is an opportunistic grab of public resources. Lowering taxes is just a freebee for the richest corporations. The problem is a collapse in demand, not a constraints on supply. If they get lower taxes, the government must own shares in the company to offset the loss in taxes.

  8. @ Tarino: I appreciate your advice, mate but the issue may be that we have too many of them and that they are now a menace. I don’t remember any culling excercise ever being carried out in any of our water bodies. Remember, too, that these ugly beasts have few, if not nil predictors, so they have been multiplying at will and I’m sure they are now in their millions. I insit, mate, cull them and let’s benefit from the lucrative prices that are currently obtaining

  9. if you do your research it was bat meat that caused the covid 19 chinese virus nor croc, in fact croc fat has some properties that prevent sickness like a anti bionics .

  10. A lot of meats and vegetables u eat hv viruses, eggs of intestinal worms and bacteria. They are just killed during the cooking process or by stomach acid during digestion. That’s life.

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