Some cassava buyers in Saravan have decided to halt purchases of the crop after the southern province introduced a new levy on shipments of the tuberous roots.
Local media reported yesterday that some companies have stopped buying cassava from growers in the provinces of Champassak and Saravan after the tax was imposed this year.
An anonymous provincial official in Champassak told Vientiane Times on Tuesday that tax officials were charging buyers 15 kip per kilogramme on cassava purchased in Saravan province.
“Tax officials have set up checkpoints where they ask for 15 kip a kilogramme from the cassava trucks on their way to processing factories,” he said.
According to local news outlets some businesses in Saravan’s Lau-ngam district have temporarily stopped buying cassava because many are charged even more than the set tax rate.
The businesses told local media they would restart buying cassava from farmers when Lau-ngam district authorities stopped collecting the tax.
Officials from the provincial Commerce and Industry Department and the provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department in Saravan acknowledged that there have been public complaints about this matter.
They told local media that the authorities had set up a committee to look into the issue.
One company is still buying cassava from farmers at 8,000 kip a kilogramme but only in limited quantities.
Last year, Champassak province officials suggested growers could deliver cassava to factories in Xekong and Attapeu provinces after a tapioca factory in Champassak limited its purchases.
AlterbativelyIn addition, they could sell to Thailand through the Vangtao-Songmek border crossing between Laos and Thailand. But many farmers were concerned about the high transportation fees they would be charged because of the long distance.
Some growers thought the Champassak factory would not buy their cassava because growers were delivering too much or they suspected the owner had financial problems.
Source: Vientiane Times