Stakeholders in Ghana’s agricultural and agribusiness sector have raised concerns over the delay in granting tax exemptions for agricultural commodities, stating that it poses a significant risk to the sector’s activities.
Members of CropLife Ghana, the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, the National Seed Trade Association of Ghana, and the Ghana Rice Interprofessional Body have all expressed their concerns, stating that the delay by the Minister of Finance in granting tax exemptions as requested by the Minister of Food and Agriculture is negatively impacting their activities.
The CEO of the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, Anthony S.K. Morrison, highlighted the dire consequences that this delay could have on the sector, which is already fragile due to global price increases in agricultural machinery and agro-inputs leading to high costs of production. He also noted that this delay could further worsen the food security situation in the country.
It should be noted that President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assented to the Tax Exemptions Act 2022, Act 1083 which is meant to regulate the application of tax exemptions and create an exemptions regime for goods imported into the country, however, agricultural goods and equipment are not included in the list of items exempted from import duties, which is a decision that contradicts the government’s own policy of transforming the economy through agricultural transformation.
Given the critical nature of agricultural and agribusiness activities in the country, on January 10th, 2023, the Minister of Food and Agriculture applied for exemptions for agricultural commodities.