The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah has admitted benefiting from a government facility to provide tractors for farmers but said he does not understand why this should be a problem for anybody.
He said he bought one tractor for his farm at Ejura in the Ashanti region and does not understand why the Minority in Parliament should be talking about it.
There was heated debate in Parliament Thursday over high-profile people being beneficiaries of the 932 tractors imported into the country by government 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; Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the MP for Nadowli West, and Mr Mahama Ayariga, the Minister of Information and Media Relations.
The submission of the list in Parliament followed a question posed earlier by Mr Daniel Kweku Botwe, the MP for Okere, to the Minister of Food and Agriculture seeking to know the beneficiaries of the 932 tractors and accessories imported from India by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in 2008.
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.
Speaking on Asempa FM Friday afternoon, Mr Asiedu Nketiah said the tractors were not distributed free of charge but they were for farmers who were able to meet the conditions of payment.
He said the facility was still available at Agricultural Engineering under MoFA and that any member of the public can go for one, provided you are a farmer.
He said he was a farmer and so he bought one, “that is all about it.”
According to him, the tractors were not bought by the Kufuor administration, rather, they were provided under a Japanese grant.
As a former Minister of Agriculture, he said he was aware the facility had been available for many years and that every year the money is made available to order for farm equipment for farmers to buy.
He said the minority in Parliament were deliberately bringing up these issues so as to cover up problems in the New Patriotic Party.