By Aji Fatou Faal
The Minister of Agriculture has disclosed that they intend to purchase a new fleet of tractors, constitute a ploughing team in all regions to be offering hired ploughing services to farmers.
Omar Jallow made these revelations on Wednesday when responding to questions for oral answers posed by Halifa Sallah, Member for Serekunda who inquired about the seized tractors given by the former government.
He said the ministry is working on a national mechanization policy that would define the purchase, distribution and usage of farm machinery including tractors.
He admitted some tractors are seized and parked at police stations around the country.
“They include the Mahindra and John Deere tractors brands. These tractors were not under the direct control and care of the Ministry of Agriculture. They were given to chiefs, APRC militants, governors and Kanilai Family Farm managers.
“Since these tractors were not under direct control and care of MOA, the exact total figure of the quantity seized is unknown. Sometime in January this year, technician from MOA’s engineer services went on a nationwide assessment of tractors. They didn’t have access to those that were seized and parked at various police stations,” he added.
He informed NAMs that from their records, eighty-three John Deere tractors were brought in to the country.