The government of President Nana Akufo-Addo is indeed working hard to once again, make farming an attractive and lucrative occupation in Ghana. This effort was reflected at the 2017 National Farmers Day were a total of 77 farmers were handsomely rewarded for their various significant contributions to the growth of agriculture in the country.
The event which was held in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, on Friday, 1st December, saw President Akufo-Addo, the Food and Agricultur Minister Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Council of State Chairman, Daasebre Otuo Serebour II, some other government officials, farmers and villagers in attendance.
Speaking at the event, President Nana Addo said that his government is focusing on achieving food security through agricultural modernisation and improved production efficiency.
In order to make this goal a reality, the president revealed that two agricultural mechanization centres have been established in the Eastern and Volta regions respectively. The centres are according to him, are targeted at giving technical support to small-scale farmers, enhancing farming practices and boosting agro-processing.
In addition to this, Nana Addo indicated that a greater percentage of cocoa roads will be re-constructed under the Ghana Infrastructure Fund, stating that his government aims at making things better for the farmer through policies and interventions that will increase their crop production and returns.
He also announced that 192 small dams will be constructed in selected districts of the country from 2018 as part of his ‘One Village, One Dam’ project.
Lamenting the sharp decline of agricultural contribution to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product, President Akufo-Addo said that the decrease would not be allowed to continue, pointing out that all the factors responsible for the decline such as post-harvest losses, lack of funds, land tenure issues and obsolete farming practices are being addressed by his administration.
The President also stated that some measures aimed at boosting agricultural productivity and profit such as quality planting materials, fertilisers, access to credit and strong extension support are already being put in place.
Also speaking at the 2017 National Farmers day, the sector Minister, Afriyie Akoto reiterated the fact that the Akufo-Addo government is working towards making agriculture a more attractive and sustainable means of livelihood and investment for both Ghanaian citizens and foreigners. He therefore called for a systematic and well directed approach that will see to the realization of the president’s vision.
The National Farmers Day is an annual event set aside for the celebration of individuals and organisations who contributed significantly to the growth of Ghana’s agricultural sector in the year under review.
The celebration was initiated by the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government in the year 1985 under the leadership of J. J. Rawlings. The event which recognises and rewards the vital role farmers and fishermen played in the economy is celebrated on the first Friday of every December.
This year’s event which was themed ‘Farming for food and jobs’ is the 33rd edition of the celebration. A total of 77 farmers went home with different awards and prizes for the various outstanding roles they played in boosting the country’s agricultural production and growth. Below are the major awardees at the 2017 National Farmers Day:
Agyemang who hails from the Dormaa West District in the Brong Ahafo Region, won the National Best Farmer of the Year award and was given $100,000, donated by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB). He owns the ‘Awurade Na Aye Farms’ which deals on livestock, aquaculture, agro-processing and crop planting, and boasts over 200 workers.
Madam Anabel Ann Cudjoe emerged as the first runner-up and drove home a Nissan pick-up vehicle as her prize. She is mixed farmer at Hohoe in the Volta Region.
The second runner-up position went to another female farmer, an agro-processor in Ga South, Greater Accra. She was rewarded with a Mitsubishi pick-up vehicle.
He hails from Sefwi Wiawso in the Western Region and was presented with a Toyota pick-up.
* National Best Coffee Farmer – Plantation Resources Company in the Western Region.
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