Githunguri MP Gathoni Wa Wamuchomba has voiced her opposition to the government’s implementation of a tax on farm produce, despite assurances from Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua that the law will be reviewed to accommodate farmers’ concerns.

The controversy arose after the government proposed a 5 percent withholding tax on farm produce, sparking outrage among farmers who viewed it as burdensome.

Wamuchomba criticized the provision, labeling it as punitive and oppressive to farmers and small businesses alike. She highlighted the additional financial strain imposed on farmers, including the proposed house levy and contributions to the yet-to-be-launched Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).

Expressing solidarity with small traders who face similar tax burdens, Wamuchomba called for a comprehensive review of the Finance Act 2023, emphasizing the need to alleviate the financial pressure on Kenyans.

In a surprising turn of events, Deputy President Gachagua acknowledged flaws in the Finance Act 2023, particularly its impact on farmers. He pledged to address the concerns raised by farmers and ensure that government policies support rather than burden them.

Speaking at the Embu Livestock, Dairy, and Fisheries Exhibition, Gachagua urged the county government to prioritize agricultural programs and emphasized the government’s commitment to stabilizing prices for key agricultural products.

The implementation of the new tax, which took effect last month, has elicited mixed reactions from stakeholders in the agricultural sector. While the government aims to boost revenue generation, critics argue that it places undue financial strain on farmers already grappling with various challenges.

As discussions continue on the future of the farm produce tax, there is a growing consensus among lawmakers and stakeholders on the need for a balanced approach that promotes agricultural growth while safeguarding the interests of farmers and small businesses.

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