Domestic processors in Tanzania are lobbying for an increase in levies charged on imported Crude Palm Oil (CPO) in an effort to even the playing field.
Processors of sunflower oil in Tanzania are competing with the cheaper palm oil alternative making it hard to keep up due to high production costs. In fact, the Tanzania Sunflower Oil Processors Association (TASUPA) wants the current 10-per cent tariff on imported to be raised.
TASUPA further argues that levelling the playing field is in line with national drive to boost local industrialization and promote growth of the agriculture sector. Tanzania’s Vision 2025 sees the nation attain middle income status fueled by an industrialized economy.
This vision is to be realized through growth and development of the agriculture value chains that would see an increase in processing factories. Hence the call by TASUPA is for the government to support growth of the local market to foster growth of production and value chains.
Further still, the move would, according to TASUPA, serve to boost internal revenue, increase employment and boost SMEs along the value chain as well as other supporting businesses like transportation and supply of raw materials.
Officials at TASUPA also cite health benefits of sunflower oil versus palm oil. According to them sunflower oil has much more health benefits and should be promoted for national health benefits. That been said, the call by TASUPA is expected to draw a lot of criticism as palm oil importers are already up in arms against the recently levied 10 percent duty on imported crude palm oil.
Speaking at a Tanzania Private Sectors Foundation (TPSF) workshop earlier this week in Dar es Salaam, TASUPA officials said, their research shows that the 10 percent levy on imported crude palm oil will have positive effects on the economy and local businesses similar to the 25 percent customs duty recently added on crude oil.
Termed ‘The sunflower facts report’ the research was conducted mid this year back in June and looked into production and processing of sunflower in the country. The research also reviewed ‘impact of VAT on Tanzania’s sunflower oil processors that use internally produced sunflower oil seeds.
According to TASUPA, their research findings favour the 10 percent levy on crude palm oil in that it will help sunflower oil producers compete with the cheap imports. TASUPA officials said omission of the 10 percent duty will only make it harder for local industries to grow which is against the national development vision.