The proposal by the French Government to levy tax on palm oil will have negative implications for Africa, and undermine efforts to alleviate poverty across the continent, a Nigerian-based public policy think tank has warned.
The Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (IPPA) said the proposed taxes – which include an additional tax of 90 Euros per tonne and a differential tax for palm oil produced according to western standards – is discriminatory and would lead to devastating consequences for African farmers of palm oil, and throughout the rest of the developing world.
“Small farmers produce 80 per cent of Nigeria’s palm oil, and they rely on it to feed their families and improve their living conditions. The French tax on palm oil is not only unfair and unjustified, but also illegal under the WTO trade laws and undermines France’s commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals,” Thompson Ayodele, a Director of IPPA said in a statement.
The palm oil tax, which would apply to food products, is part of a wider-reaching Biodiversity Bill by the French government and has provoked anger from palm-oil producing countries.
In 2012, the French Senate rejected a proposed tax on palm oil which would have quadrupled the tax on the ingredient.
A tax on palm oil is also being considered in Russia for health reason, with a possible levy of $200 per tonne being applied to palm oil as early as July 1, 2016, according to some reports.