By James Anyanzwa
The affected items include fertiliser, livestock feeds, insecticides and pesticides, maize and wheat, milk and cream, locally assembled water pumps and locally produced gin cotton.
Consequently, the Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP) has petitioned Githae to review the Bill before it is debated or MPs should reject it.
Chairman Nduati Kariuki said increasing VAT would lead to higher prices of agricultural inputs and food items. This, he said, would affect a majority of Kenyans who depend on agriculture for livelihoods and other poor people who spend most of their income on food.
Kariuki said Kenya’s export earnings also stand to suffer because the new tax will make local products expensive and therefore uncompetitive in international markets.
“The farmers, agricultural producers and others in the agricultural industry through the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) view with concern certain provisions of the VAT legislation Bill,” Kariuki told the media in Nairobi on Tuesday.
He said the removal of agricultural inputs from the list of zero-rated items goes against the spirit of the integration of the East African Community and would harm the agricultural sector in a big way.
“Majority of Kenyans cannot afford any further increase in food prices,” said Kariuki.