EL TIEMPO, Colombia: No less than 5,000 nursery and small ornamental plant producers will benefit from the elimination of the value-added tax (VAT) to potted plants approved in the recent Colombian tax reform.
The initiative, promoted by the newly created Association of Colombian Nurseries and Ornamental Growers (Colviveros) seeks to stimulate the development of the ornamental segment. According to Jairo Cadavid, President of Colviveros, this “green exemption” has a double impact. On the one hand, it will stimulate the domestic consumption of ornamental products and will clear the way to develop the export potential of this segment; on the other hand, it will generate more and better employment in rural and suburban areas of Colombia.
Among the producers consulted, Aydee Toulemonde from Siete Colinas, a nursery in Pereira, said that the measure favors them “enormously” because they were contemplating the possibility of reducing their operation and laying off some workers due to the fiscal uncertainty. “We are thankful for Colvivero’s management in this endeavor because the work associated with potted plants is one of those small-scale family-based enterprises many Colombian people opt for in order to gain a supplementary income.”
Ms. Toulemonde said the way things are going, she hopes to grow in 2017.
For his part, Cristian Stapper, President of Colviveros’ Board of Directors, thanked Senator Juan Manuel Corzo for supporting the initiative, given the immense potential the nursery industry has for generating development and well-being in the Colombia countryside. “We are anticipating an ambitious work plan for 2017 with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Colombian Institute for Agriculture and Livestock (ICA), and the VAT exemption for plants will be a vital support to give a boost to the production of ornamentals,” concluded the trade union leader.