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General News of Monday, 23 June 2014

Source: citifmonline.com

Minister justifies allocation of tractors to MPs

The Minister of Agriculture, Kofi Humado has justified why some Members of Parliament and government officials were allocated brand new tractors imported from India by the Ministry for farmers in 2008.

According to him, some of the MP’s bought the tractors to help farmers in their constituencies who could not afford to purchase them.

“The issue of whether parliamentarians should benefit from the tractors or not is debatable because some of these MPs raise monies to buy these tractors so that their poor farmers can use,’’ he said.

But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Kofi Humado advised that the MPs should in future use the names of the farmer associations they purchase the tractors on behalf of.

“…the use of the tractors is not by them [MPs]; it’s by the poor farmers in their localities. I don’t see anything wrong with that," he noted.

There was heated debate in Parliament on Friday over the government officials who got some of the 932 tractors imported into the country for farmers in 2008. Some of the names that emerged in the beneficiary list were Mr Moses Asaga, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nabdam; Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC); Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the MP for Nadowli West, and Mr Mahama Ayariga, the Minister of Information and Media Relations. The tractors imported were 200 farm tractors, 132 Mahindra 605 Di tractors, 100 Mahindra 705 Di tractors, 350 model 5303 John Deere tractors and 150 model 5403 John Deere tractors.

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