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02.04.2004 General News

MOFA denies publication by "The Lens"

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Accra, April 2, GNA- The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) on Friday called on all Ghanaians to disregard the report by "The Lens," an Accra weekly, headlined, "Quashigah Supervises Rot at the Ministry," and consider it as calculated attempt to tarnish the hard earned reputation of the Government, the Ministry and the Minister This was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the MOFA and signed by Clara Moore, Public Relations Officer in Accra.

The statement said, the story which appeared on the front page of the 31st March to 6th April edition of the paper, during the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) regime, hundreds of specially designed bicycles for agricultural use, worth millions of cedis were imported into the country. It said since the bicycles were meant for youth in agriculture arrived in the heat of the 2000 elections, and the NDC decided not to distribute them for fear of being accused of influencing the electorate with the bicycles.

"The story further said soon after the ruling government came to power in 2001, the bicycles were brought out from the shed, where they were kept and left in the open, resulting in a number of them rusting and some parts stolen" The statement said the report accused the MOFA of deliberately importing Farmtrac tractors from India to distribute them during this year's campaign period so as to give the incumbent government undue advantage over its opponents in the coming elections.

It said the Ministry has been unfairly treated stating, "We feel unfairly treated since the Ministry has not engaged itself in any of the allegation levelled against it and accordingly condemn it as there is no iota of truth in the said publication.

With regard to the importation of Framtrac, the statement said the present government had always desired to modernize agriculture in this country and the government had through the Ministry imported 200 Farmtrac tractors for this purpose. So far the Ministry has taken delivery of fifty while the remaining 150 awaits clearance at the port.

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