Services relating to agriculture

The services relating to agriculture that are specified in the negative list are services relating to –

  ♦  agricultural operations directly related to production of any agricultural produce including cultivation, harvesting, threshing, plant protection or seed testing;

  ♦  supply of farm labour;

  ♦  processes carried out at the agricultural farm including tending, pruning, cutting, harvesting, drying cleaning, trimming, sun drying, fumigating, curing, sorting, grading, cooling or bulk packaging and such like operations which do not alter essential characteristics of agricultural produce but makes it only marketable for the primary market;

  ♦  renting of agro machinery or vacant land with or without a structure incidental to its use;

  ♦  loading, unloading, packing, storage and warehousing of agricultural produce;

  ♦  agricultural extension services;

  ♦  services provided by any Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee or Board or services provided by commission agent for sale or purchase of agricultural produce;

1 What is the meaning of ‘agriculture’?

‘Agriculture’ has been defined in the Act as cultivation of plants and rearing or breeding of animals and other species of life forms for foods, fibre, fuel, raw materials or other similar products but does not include rearing of horses.

2 Are activities like breeding of fish (pisciculture), rearing of silk worms (sericulture), cultivation of ornamental flowers (floriculture) and horticulture, forestry included in the definition of agriculture?

Yes. These activities are included in the definition of agriculture.

3 What is the meaning of agricultural produce?

Agricultural produce has also been defined in section 65B of the Act which means any produce of agriculture on which either no processing is done or such processing is done as is usually done by a cultivator or producer which does not alter its essential characteristics but makes it marketable for primary market. It also includes specified processes in the definition like tending, pruning, grading, sorting etc. which may be carried out at the farm or elsewhere as long as they do not alter the essential characteristics.

4 Would plantation crops like rubber, tea or coffee be also covered under agricultural produce?

Yes. Such plantation crops are also covered under agricultural produce.

5 Would potato chips or tomato ketchup qualify as agricultural produce?

No. In terms of the definition of agricultural produce, only such processing should be carried out as is usually done by cultivator producers which does not alter its essential characteristics but makes it marketable for primary market. Potato chips of tomato ketchup are manufactured through processes which alter the essential characteristic of farm produce (potatoes and tomatoes in this case).

6 Would leasing of vacant land with a green house or a storage shed meant for agricultural produce be covered in the negative list?

Yes. In terms of the specified services relating to agriculture ‘leasing’ of vacant land with or without structure incidental to its use is covered in the negative list. Therefore, if vacant land has a structure like storage shed or a green house built on it which is incidental to its use for agriculture then its lease would be covered under the negative list entry.

7 What is the meaning of agricultural extension services?

Agricultural extension services have also been defined in section 65B of the Act as application of scientific research and knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education or training.

8 What are the services referred to in the negative list entry pertaining to Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee or Board?

Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees or Boards are set up under a State Law for purpose of regulating the marketing of agricultural produce. Such marketing committees or boards have been set up in most of the States and provide a variety of support services for facilitating the marketing of agricultural produce by provision of facilities and amenities like shops, sheds, water, light, electricity, grading facilities etc. They also take measures for prevention of sale or purchase of agricultural produce below the minimum support price. APMCs collect market fees, license fees, rents etc. Services provided by such Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee or Board are covered in the negative list.

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  1. Narendra Sharma says:

    Sir, Whether horticulture, plantation, maintenance of greenery at Airport and in other commercial/ industrial premises for environmental purposes is taxable for service tax or not?

  2. minesh patel says:

    I am working as a mandap keeper and I do not pay service tax because I do not do my mandap busines 9lakh onwards.but I have 3 tractors which are used in agricalture for ploughing and carrying crop by trailor for my farms and another farmers so this income include in service tax?

  3. ramakrishna says:

    A company purchased eucalyptus wood from farmers or traders and stored in a depot. from there they loaded the same on to the truck and sent to mills. whether the loading or unloading at depot or mill qualifies as agricultural activity?

    pls. clarify


    rama krishna M

  4. siddesh says:

    which are the commodity comes under the head agriculture produced.when transported by railway….however service tax are collected by railway when perishable like vegetables and fruits are booked. .

  5. rahul bhatt says:

    Whether freight paid on purchase of cotton bales from ginning factory shall be exempted from service tax in terms of Goods transport service from 1/4/13 ?

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January 2021