Monday, 22 October 2018

NGO Laments On the High Cost Of Imports of Tractor in Liberia

BONG COUNTY – A nonprofit organization, “Kesseh Foundation, Inc,” is appealing to the Liberian Government to grant tax relieve on its two farm tractors imported into country.
Mr. Kesseh Yeleboe, head of the organization, told reporters during a recent visit to his home town that he is finding it very difficult to clear the tractors at the Free Port of Monrovia due to tax rate imposed by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
He claimed that his organization is a nonprofit organization established in January 2016 to help smallholder farmers increase productivity in Boinsen District, Bong County.
According to him, he has spoken with the LRA on the matter but has since been denied.
“Authority at the LRA does not believe my testimony. They are saying that I am not telling the truth,” he said.
Yeleboe said that he had raised money over the years in the United States of America for the purpose of helping poor farmers in his home town.
He said that the intention is to enable smallholder farmers mechanized crop production.
“We cannot become self-sufficient in food production through manual labor. Liberia must prioritize using modern equipment to become food secure. This is why I bought the tractors to buttress government’s efforts,” he stated.
According to him, the tractors cost US$6,000 and the LRA is imposing a 100 percent tax of US$6,000.
Kesseh Yeleboe explaining his frustrations about the farm tractors to the farmers
“I do not have the money that LRA is requesting. I am appealing that they relieve the tax for the farmers to access the tractors to expand their farms,” he appealed.
Yeleboe said that he is working with more than 100 farmers from five villages in the district to cultivate large area of land that will be developed with different crop varieties,” adding that proceeds from the farm will benefit individual farmers.
He lamented that the farmers are working harder every year and not producing enough to support their families something that did not happen prior to the civil war, noting that the villagers are lacking food most often because the government have failed to support them,
He further stated that the farm tractor can also be used to improve the deplorable road conditions in the areas.
Moses D. Semineh, a farmer, told our reporter that they are finding it difficult to produce more food for their families and with the provision of a farm tractor they will be able to increase production.
“We are lacking the necessary support from the government to feed the nation. The initiative taken by our son “Kesseh” is laudable. We are cultivating large area of land with cutlasses and we really need the tractor to enable us de-stump and plough the land. We want to appeal to the government to release the tractors,” he pleaded.

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