Former President John Mahama says he made a mistake buying tractors for farmers during his tenure as President.
“I realised some of the things that we did, we made mistakes", Mr Mahama admitted in Munich, Germany, where he is attending the 59th Munich Security Conference 2023.
"We imported tractors and agricultural equipment and we gave [them] 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 explained.
Co-hosting a @TanaForum side event with #BDI on "#Africa's Place in a Multipolar World: Moving from Strategy to Action” with South Africa’s defence minister, @MunSecConf Chair & others. #MSC2023 pic.twitter.com/pqPA8y7fYm— John Dramani Mahama (@JDMahama) February 18, 2023
Instead of handing the tractors to the farmers, Mahama said a service centre where the tractors would have been in the care of experienced engineers who would have rendered services to the farmers and looked after the farm machinery, would have served the same purpose in a better way.
"So, somebody who knows how to maintain that tractor must have a service centre, where he provides the services to the farmer", he noted.
"But we gave the tractors to the farmers, and in a year or two the tractor had broken down because he [the 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 doesn’t know that".
"So, we will approach it differently", the former Ghanaian leader said.
The conference provides a platform for high-level debates “on key foreign and security policy challenges.”
Mahama is the Chairperson of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa. The Tana Forum in collaboration with Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V. (BDI) on Saturday, hosted a side event, an MSC Regional Breakfast on “Africa’s Place in a multipolar world: Moving from strategy to action.”
The session was opened by Mr Mahama as Chair of the Tana Forum and addressed by the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, and Wolfgang Niedermark of BDI, the Federation of German Industries.