Gov’t urged to slash taxes on farming equipment
Central Equatoria State officials have appealed to the national government to reduce taxes on agricultural equipment to encourage farming in the country.
The Agriculture Officer in the Central Equatoria State Ministry of Agriculture, Environment, and Forestry, Wani Lemi, lamented that high taxes discourage agriculture in the country.
He said that by reducing taxes on farm equipment, the farmers will easily shift to modern farming that assures higher yields.
Lemi, who is Operation Assistant (senior) for the Project for Revitalization and Promotion of Agriculture for Food Security and Livelihoods Improvement for the Republic of South Sudan (REPALI), a project supported by the people of Japan, added that chicken feed has been overtaxed at the border, making it hard for South Sudan to do poultry keeping.
He said that poultry feeds and other farming equipment that usually come from neighbouring countries face huge taxes, making it expensive to practice in South Sudan.
Other agriculture imports overtaxed at the border include a combined harvester, rotary tiller, plough or plough, tractor-trailer, power harrow, leveller, water bowser, ripper machine, and disc harrow, among others.
He added that chicken feed, such as kale and turnips, is also still imported from neighbouring countries.
“High taxes on chicken feed discourage farmers, and heavy taxes on agricultural machines are also a problem; there is a need for the government to reduce taxes on them,” he said.
Ayo Peter Wani, Project Operation Assistant, argued that besides reducing taxes on agriculture imports, there is a need to support farmers with tools.
Ayo stated that since South Sudan considers agriculture the backbone, there is a need for the country to put much effort into it.
Mr. Shu Sato, Administrative Coordinator of JICA projects, said that the people of Japan would continue to strengthen farming in all ways to improve production and food production.
He added that the project has empowered many people in Central Equatoria who are ready to take part in various aspects of agriculture.