By Rite news desk
The former president, John Dramani Maham has admitted it was a mistake his administration made in the agricultural sector to procure and subsidise tractors and other farm implements for farmers across the country.
Speaking at the 52nd annual meeting of the African Development Bank (ADB) Group in Ahmedabad in India on Monday, former President John Dramani Mahama says he regrets buying tractors for farmers as part of a government move to modernise agriculture since the motive for the policy did not materialise.
This was because, according to him, the policy failed to achieve the needed results.
The AfDB, which works to reduce poverty and improve the living conditions of African people, held the meeting on the theme ‘Transforming Agriculture for Wealth Creation in Africa.’
Mr Mahama who attended the meeting and spoke about the need to encourage the youth into agriculture said advised the current administration not to repeat what he described as a “mistake” his government made in the agricultural sector.
“In the twilight of my administration, November 2016, I introduced a concept of Farmer-Service Centres….and this was based on the experience I have had that the farmers do not need the tractors and the planters”, he said, adding that “what they need is the service of those equipment.”
Mr Mahama said his administration discovered that most of the tractors procured at a subsidised rate for the farmers were grounded due to the farmers’ inability to maintain them.
He said when his government found out that the farmers needed the services of the tractors and not necessarily owning them, his administration introduced the Farmer Service Centres with the aim of providing the basic farm services to all farmers.
“…So we need to introduce specialisation and that is why we came up with the Farmer Service Centres where the agricultural equipment will be placed under a special service and all that the farmer needs to do is to register with the service to access it,” he explained.
Former President Mahama, however, urged the current administration to continue with the Farmer Service Centres concept to ensure food security in the country.