In Summary

The taxation review begun in earnest in the 2017/18 financial year, when the government struck out 80 of the-then 139 agricultural taxes – a number to be reduced again by the 21 taxes targeted in the 2018/19 financial year.

Nevertheless, on a positive note, the proposal to cut 21 taxes on agriculture - call them ‘nuisance taxes’ - is spot on. The taxes range from those on produce – coffee (3 taxes), tobacco (2), tea (3), sugar (1) and cotton (1) – to input taxes (seeds – 5 taxes – and other inputs), as well as levies on cooperative societies (6 taxes).

The taxation review begun in earnest in the 2017/18 financial year, when the government struck out 80 of the-then 139 agricultural taxes – a number to be reduced again by the 21 taxes targeted in the 2018/19 financial year.

The exercise is ongoing for the remaining 38 taxes, this time targeting other areas like packaging, insecticides, agro-processing – but not pivotal areas like research.

Not only is tax-reduction a major relief for Tanzanian smallholders; it is also a highly-lucrative incentive for potential investors in agriculture who consider multiple taxes and inordinately-high tax rates a hydra-headed disincentive monster.

De-taxing agriculture can be a socioeconomic developmental blessing.