Former president John Dramani Mahama has argued that farmers can be productive without tractors or other agricultural equipment.
He asserts that a tractor operator is actually needed to help these farmers.
He claimed that his country’s government erred in importing tractors and other agricultural equipment for farmers because they were unable to properly operate and maintain them.
At the 59th Munich Security Conference in 2023, the former president promised that if given the chance again, he would address this problem to help farmers increase their crop yields and income.
“I realised some of the things that we did, we made mistakes, we imported tractors and agricultural equipment, and we gave it to farmers. The farmer does not need the tractor, he does not need the agricultural equipment, he needs the services of a tractor,” Mr Mahama stated.
“So somebody who knows how to maintain that tractor must have a service centre, where he provides the services to the farmer. But we gave the tractors to the farmers, and in a year or two the tractor had broken down because he [farmer] doesn’t know that every six months you must change the engine oil, you must change the filters, you must grease the tractor, he [farmer] doesn’t know that. So, we will approach it differently,” John Dramani Mahama declared.
The chairman of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa is John Dramani Mahama.
Thandi Modise, South Africa’s Minister of Defense, served as the event’s keynote speaker.