Farmers ask government to reduce taxes on agricultural inputs

farmer seeding
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Secretary of the Jordan Valley Farmers Union Jamal Masalha called for eliminating taxes and fees imposed on production inputs to reduce costs for farmers and, consequently, for consumers.اضافة اعلان

He said that the prices of production inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides are 10-fold higher than previous prices, which contributed to the increase in vegetables prices in Jordan.

Masalha told Jordan News that the frost and the drop in temperatures also contributed to raising prices “due to 70 percent decrease in production”.

The drop in supplies and the increase in demand, in addition to the shrinkage of the agricultural area and the losses incurred by farmers during the previous years, worsened the farmers’ situation and will reflect, down the line, on end users.

According to Masalha, thousands of farmers “will be chased by court enforcement officers if the defense order is canceled”.

Farmers have now stopped working and producing because of the accumulation of debts and their inability to pay, he added.

Head of the Farmers Union Mahmoud Al-Oran told Jordan News that the challenges and problems facing the agricultural sector are getting worse “despite the fact that the sector’s demands were presented to the government several times”.

He added that while the government took many decisions on different sectors and lowered customs duties, “those decisions did not include the agricultural sector”.

If the high sales tax imposed on agricultural production input stays as it is, “merchants will raise their prices for farmers, which will lead to a direct increase in prices for the consumer, too,” Oran reiterated, stressing that “farmers have been facing too many problems since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the current situation does not indicate that upcoming days would be better; quite the reverse”.

Farmer Bassel Ramadneh told Jordan News that “we are dealing with a difficult situation that few farmers will be able to handle”.

“The costs of agricultural inputs have been always high, but this is more so nowadays due to the fact that we have no income, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic that put us in a very difficult situation,” he said.

He urged government entities to support farmers and “take necessary actions to help them stand on their feet again”, because “if the situation remains as it is, I can say that the production will drop significantly and this will be reflected on consumers”.

Head of Traders and Producers of Agricultural Materials Syndicate Mohammad Loay Bibars told Jordan News that there are no customs duties on most agricultural inputs, and that most of them pay no sales tax, adding, however, that there are “some distortions on some agricultural inputs”.

He stressed that the syndicate and the Sales Tax Department are concerned with correcting these distortions, and that a meeting will be held next week to work out how to address them.

Bibars said that the prices of agricultural inputs increased due to the “global rise in prices, and not as a result of fees and taxes”.

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