Taxing idle lands

According to economic theory, imposing a tax on idle lands forces farmers to put such lands into production. However a farmer may deliberately decide to allow a portion of his lands to lie idle for various reasons such as:

(1). To restore/rebuild fertility (the bible recommends a seven year cycle)

(2). To prevent overproduction of certain crops.

(3). Where there is a high rate of praedial larceny – the thieves harvest what the farmer plants. The farmer invests and gets nothing back.

(4). Where farming is unprofitable – especially where labour cost is high. Two to three hours equals a day’s work in the field. Agriculture is most profitable where labour is cheap or where there is mechanisation. The Government sets the pace by paying road workers $20.00 per hour.

(5).  Because of poor access roads to get into and out of the land, (hilly terrain), some farmers are physically unable to ride a donkey or mule.




I would like the Ministry of Agriculture to have some dialogue with farmers about the idle land tax. In the USA many farmers are paid to keep certain lands idle.

The present tax is wicked and insensitive especially when the cost of living has doubled since Ivan. Property tax has doubled, there are no markets for several crops, rainfall is less and more unpredictable than before.

There are more pest problems because of global warming and no jobs to help us neither our children to pay the tax.

Options:

Try taxing idle hands instead or try leasing the idle accessible lands
from farmers and letting them out to the thousands of IMANIS who would graduate and have nothing to do.

For the farmers sake try something different.

Jennifer Andall

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