In recent times the agricultural sector has witnessed an increased attention by the government. Many people are now exploring the potentials that are inherent in the agricultural sector. The government has increased financial support to the sector with the approval of 1 Billion Dollars for agriculture by the council of state of the federal republic of Nigeria on the 23rd of February 2018. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN on the 21st of February extended over 200 Billion Naira Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) to Non- Interest Financial Institutions (NIFIs). This implies that there will be increased funding that is Halal and devoid of interest for the members of the Muslim community who are averse to interest.
In another capacity, the private sector-led initiatives in the agricultural sector has also witnessed increased attention. With the use of information technology, an individual can now own a farm be it crop or animal-based farm from the comfort of their mobile phones. These innovations have attracted many corporate and millennials into agriculture, people who hitherto were not interested in the sector.
For the Muslims, who are conscious of their duties to their Lord, the payment of Zakat on agricultural products should not be overlooked while they actively participate in this sector. Zakat is the third pillar of Islam and it is mandatory for all Muslims once they fulfill the requisite conditions. The field of zakat is wide and cannot be fully discussed herein, hence the focus on just agricultural products given the situation at hand.
Allah Says “And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” [Quran 6: 141]. Zakah of agricultural products is due as soon as they are harvested. So, it is not permissible to delay giving out the Zakah after the harvest of the crops. Allah Says (what means): “… and give its due [Zakah] on the day of its harvest…”[Quran 6: 141].
Below are the salient points we should know about zakat on agricultural produce.
1. Zakat is due on the day of harvest.
2. Zakat is due on everything land produces that can be eaten and stored (such as grains, beans, fruit, dates, etc.).
3. Nisab (is the minimum amount that a Muslim must have before being obliged to zakat) on crops is measured in five volume units individually called wasq (1 wasq = 130.56 kg of wheat). Five wasqs equal 653 kilograms. This is the Nisab on agricultural yields. That means when your harvest is over and above 653 kilograms – you are required to pay zakat.
4. If the produce – output is from Irrigated Land: Zakât rate is 5 percent of net value of harvest—after deduction of costs, including irrigation, fertilizer, and operating expenses.
5. If the produce – output is from Unirrigated Land: Zakât rate is 10 percent of gross value of harvest since land is being watered mostly by rain, natural springs.
6. Zakat is payable on livestock and it is based on headcount.
7. For sheep/lamb/goat below is the zakat calculation.
a. If the headcount is between 1 to 39 – Zakat is not applicable.
b. If the headcount is between 40 to 120 – 1 animal is paid as zakat.
c. If the headcount is between 121 to 200 – 2 animals are paid as zakat.
d. If the headcount is between 201 to 300 – 3 animals are paid as zakat.
e. If the headcount is between 301 to 400 – 4 animals are paid as zakat.
f. For every 100 more – zakat will be plus 1 animal per 100.
8. For cattle/buffalo below is the zakat calculation.
a. If the headcount is between 1 to 29 – zakat is not applicable.
b. If the headcount is between 30 to 39 – 1 yearling animal is paid as zakat.
c. If the headcount is between 40 to 59 – 1 (2-year old) animal is paid as zakat.
d. If the headcount is between 60 to 69 – 2 yearling animals is paid as zakat.
e. Thereafter, in every thirty animals, one 1-year-old animal should be given; and in every forty, a 2-year-old animal should be given as Zakat.
The consequences of not paying zakat can only be imagined, Allah say: “On the Day when that (Al‑Kanz: money, gold and silver, the Zakaah of which has not been paid) will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and it will be said unto them:) ‘This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard’[al-Tawbah 9:34, 35].
Narrated Abu Dhar: Once I went to him (the Prophet ) and he said, “By Allah in Whose Hands my life is (or probably said, ‘By Allah, except Whom none has the right to be worshipped), whoever had camels or cows or sheep and did not pay their Zakat, those animals will be brought on the Day of Resurrection far bigger and fatter than before and they will tread him under their hooves, and will butt him with their horns, and (those animals will come in circle): When the last does its turn, the first will start again, and this punishment will go on till Allah has finished the judgments amongst the people.” (Bukhari, Vol.2, Book 24, No. 539)
As we invest in agriculture and hope for a bumper harvest, we should not forget the injunction of Allah as it relates to zakat. It is compulsory on us to pay zakat on agricultural products once the conditions are met. For specific questions on this matter, send same to firstname.lastname@example.org we shall provide answers to your questions base on Quran and Sunnah. May Allah ease our task and bless our income. Amin.