Small-scale farmers in Migori County under the umbrella of Kenya Peasants League have asked the government not to implement the five percent withholding tax on farm produce.
The farmers led by Migori Chairman of Kenya Peasants League Raila Ongoma said that the increase in taxes from three to five percent on the farm produce they sell to any organisation and institutions will hinder the production of food as well as interfere with food security in the country.
Ongoma asked the government to stop the proposed taxation in order to cushion farmers who are already struggling with the high costs of farm inputs, adding that the taxing system will affect peasant farmers in rural areas who sometimes are forced to sell their produce at lower prices to return their capital.
“The proposed withholding tax on farm produce will economically hurt farmers who are already burdened with high costs of farm inputs and costs of farm preparation that will soon rise due to increased fuel prices,” said Ongoma.
The official also explained that the five percent withholding tax on farm produce will derail the vision 2030 on food security in the country because a majority of peasant farmers may reduce agricultural productivity.
Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Economic Planning Prof Njuguna Ndung’u had proposed the taxation urging that the agricultural sector was undertaxed, proposing the introduction of a five percent withholding tax on farm produce as one of the medium-term revenue strategy for the fiscal years 2024/25 and 2026/27 aimed at enhancing domestic revenue.
By Geoffrey Makokha