A newly set up committee will come up with a temporary solution to relieve farmers from a requirement by the taxman to produce electronic invoices for their sales.

The development is set to come as a relief to primary farmers, particularly avocado and macadamia farmers, who were set to be hit hard by the new regulation.

Deputy President (DP) Rigathi Gachagua, on Tuesday, directed the stakeholders’ committee to sit and come up with a framework that will exempt primary farmers from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) electronic tax invoice management (eTims) requirement as contained in Section 23 of the Finance Act 2023.

The committee consists of the Kirinyaga Senator (James Murango), Tigania West MP (John Mutunga) alongside representatives from the exporters, aggregators, farmers, processors, Cabinet Secretaries in charge of Trade, Agriculture, Cooperatives, Treasury, and officials from the DP’s office.

The move comes after avocado farmers decried the new requirement, saying it has negatively affected the sub-sector, forcing exporters to relocate to neighbouring Tanzania which has an enabling environment for farmers and the exporters.

Avocado Farmers Association chairperson Munyui Wa Njohi observed that the new regulation will discourage farmers from venturing into avocado farming.

They further said despite the taxation, avocado farmers were not receiving agricultural subsidies from the government.

“Farmers are not familiar with the electronic invoicing systems and are also required to have KRA pins and smartphones which most do not have,” said Mr Njohi.

Speaking at his residence on Tuesday after meeting over 100 stakeholders in the avocado value chain, DP Gachagua said the economic potential in the avocado sub-sector is huge and calls for friendly interventions to streamline it for the farmer to fully benefit.

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By COLLINS OMULO

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