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We salute our farmers

BY: Daily Graphic
File Photo : national farmers' day
File Photo : national farmers' day

Another first Friday of December is here with us again as the nation unites to acknowledge, recognise and reward the hard work, dedication and commitment of our farmers and fishers to ensure that every day, there is food for everybody.

To show how grateful we are as a nation, every first Friday of December is set aside as a public holiday and this has been so since 1984 when the National Farmers Day was instituted.

It is with great pride that we rally around to celebrate our farmers, and the Daily Graphic wishes to commend successive governments since the inception of the celebration for sustaining the award ceremony and creating the enabling environment for the private sector to virtually shoulder the entire prizes as part of their social responsibility efforts.

It is heart-warming that in spite of the current economic situation, some members of the private sector still showed up to support the day and to those specific individuals, we doff our hats to you for your commitment to support the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to honour our gallant farmers and fishers.

Special mention must be made of some companies, particularly the headline sponsors, the Agriculture Development Bank PLC and the Ghana EximBank, which have been doing this over the last two decades.

As expected, this year’s event, unlike the previous years’ is being held without the usual frenzy of companies, institutions and organisations clamouring at the ministry to catch the lenses of the media as they present cheques, products and items towards the reward of the farmers.

It is worth acknowledging that in spite of the economic challenges resulting in only a few companies coming forward to support the celebration, the government did not shy away from celebrating the day.

This year's celebration, which marks the 38th edition, is being celebrated on the theme: “Accelerating Agriculture Development through Value-Addition”.

The celebration began with the official opening of the Agricultural Fair and Exhibition from last Tuesday, November 29 and is being climaxed today, Friday, December 2, 2022 at the Koforidua Jubilee Park in the Eastern Region, where President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to crown the 2022 National Best Farmer and Fisher as the Special Guest of Honour.

It is important to note that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has reviewed the mode of the celebration this year in view of the current economic challenges.

According to the ministry, a total of 15 awards will be given at the national level, while the celebrations at the regional level have been restored as a cost-cutting strategy to ease the financial burden on the regional coordinating councils which hitherto bore the cost of paying for travel expenses, accommodation and lodging of regional award winners and other accompanying officials to participate in the celebration at the national level.

Additionally, only five regional award categories and three district categories will be honoured.

We support these cost-cutting measures and expect that other organisers of national events would take a cue from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture because we are not in normal times.

As the awardees meet at the national, regional and district levels to pick up their prizes, the Daily Graphic joins the rest of Ghanaians to celebrate our farmers and wish them well as they re-strategise for another farming season in 2023.

Surely, we all know that the awards typically do not measure up to their sacrifices and toils, but in essence, it is to recognise the importance of the agricultural sector in the country’s socio-economic growth.

We celebrate not just the award winners, but all farmers. You are all winners in your own right and we are proud of you.