A nonprofit organization “Kesseh Foundation INC” is appealing to the Liberian Government to grant tax relief on its two farm tractors imported in to country.
Mr. Kesseh Yeleboe, head of the organization, told the Daily Observer 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 taxes imposed by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
According to him the Kesseh Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 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 they denied his request.
“The authority at the LRA do not believe my testimony. They are saying that I am not telling the truth,” he said.
Yeleboe said that he has raised money over the years in the United States of America for the purpose of helping poor farmers in his home town mechanize 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.
He said that the tractors in questioned cost US$6,000 and the LRA is imposing a tax of US$6,000.
“I do not have the funds that the LRA is requesting. I am appealing that they relieve the tax for the farmers to access the tractors to expand their farms,” added.
Yeleboe said that he is working with more than 100 farmers from four 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.
“Farmers are working harder every year and not producing enough to support their families. Many years ago, people in this district never bought imported rice on the market as compared to today. The villagers are lacking food most often because the Government have failed to support them,” he Yeleboe said.
He said that the farm tractor can also be used to improve the deployable road conditions in the areas.
Moses D. Semineh, a farmer, told our reporter that farmers in the district are finding it difficult to produce more food for their families,” adding that with the provision of a farm tractor they will be able to increase production.
“We are lacking the necessary supports 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 tractors to enable us de-stump and plough the land. We want to appeal to the Government to release the tractors,” he said.