Ethiopia Should Exempt Farm Equipments from Tax to Modernize Sector: Say expert

Addis Ababa  December 07/2018 The government of Ethiopia should introduce tax exemption mechanisms for importing farm equipments and agricultural inputs in order to modernize the sector, agricultural expert says. Dr. Melese Temesgen, a researcher said at a public lecture organized in Addis Ababa that tax free imports should be promoted in order to introduce modern ways into the sector. Noting that the equipments are not currently affordable for farmers, Dr Melese said it is crucial for the government to exempt the equipments from tax so as to encourage farmers use modern equipments. He said that the country can modernize the agricultural sector by providing modern farm equipments and agricultural equipments to the farmer with low price. Lower level of infrastructural development, high price of equipments and bank interest, low industrial growth to produce agricultural machines locally are some of bottlenecks that inhibit the modernization of the sector, he noted. He said supplying farmers with modern equipments with low price could help to develop the sector as well as minimize migration to urban areas. Dr. Habtemariam Abate, an expert at Agricultural Transformation Agency said it is important to engage in problem solving researches. He said that the country need to concentrate on researching on drivers of yields of agricultural productions such as farm machineries, seeds, soil nutrient and pesticides. However, financial constraint is limiting the country’s capacity in engaging in problem solving researches as well as materializing the findings, Dr. Habtemariam said. The expert added that the budget allocated for agricultural extension program is too low. He said that only 10 percent of the budget allocated for the sector is used for agricultural extension program, while 90 percent of the budget goes to salary payments. According to him, this has hindered the sector from development by minimizing the budget used for the work that could bring change in the sector.
Ethiopian News Agency