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Liberian farmer appeals for tax relief

A nonprofit organization “Kesseh Foundation INC” appeals to government to grant tax break on its two farm tractors imported into country.Mr. Kesseh Yeleboe, head of the Foundation, laments that he finds it very difficult to clear the tractors from the Freeport of Monrovia due to tax rate imposed by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).

He claims the entity 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.“The authorities at the LRA do not believe my testimony. They are saying that I am not telling the truth,” he says.

Yeleboe says he has raised money over the years in the United States of America for the purpose of helping poor farmers in his home town.He explains the intention is to enable smallholder farmers move to 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 adds.

According to him, the tractors in question cost US$ 6000, and the LRA is imposing a tax of US$ 6000.
“I do not have the fund that the LRA is requesting. I am appealing that they relieve the tax for the farmers to access the tractors to expand their farms,” he pleads.

Yeleboe says 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, and 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 has failed to support them.”

Moses D. Semineh, a farmer says farmers in the district are finding it difficult to produce more food for their families, noting that with the provision of a farm tractor they are 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 tractor to enable us de-stump and plough the land. We want to appeal to the Government to release the tractors,” he said.

Mr. Kesseh Yeleboe –Editing by Jonathan Browne

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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