The Agricultural Development Bank (adb) yesterday handed over a fully furnished three-bedroom house to the 2016 National Best Farmer at Gomoa Aprah in the Central Region.
The GH¢400, 000 house, put up at the preferred location of Mr Robert Crentsil, has a set of living room furniture, dining set, beds with mattresses for all the three bedrooms and a fully fitted kitchen.
Additionally, the electric-fenced house has a mechanised filtered underground water system, a flat screen TV set, single door refrigerator, a four-burner gas cooker and an overhead water storage tank.
The Managing Director of adb, Dr John Kofi Mensah, said the bank had been the headline sponsors of the National Best Farmer’s Awards programme since 2001 and that it had since integrated sponsorship of the awards into its corporate social responsibility strategy.
The three-bedroom house presented to the 2016 National Best Farmer. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA
He indicated that each year, the bank voted a significant percentage of its budget to sponsor a fully furnished three-bedroom house at the preferred location of the ultimate winner.
“The house today is, therefore, the 16th to be delivered since the introduction of this ultimate reward for the National Best Farmer,” Dr Mensah stated.
According to the MD, the prize award of a house had motivated most people to go into farming, saying “the provision of the 16 houses had not only gingered Ghanaians to develop a keener interest in farming and agricultural value-chain businesses but also helped boost food production in the country.
“I am more persuaded that this laudable sponsorship initiative by adb in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) with the blessings of the government, has contributed immensely to the interest of Ghanaian farmers,” he said.
The MD added that farmers and fishers worked hard to put food on the table of citizens and urged them to keep doing their best as he pledged the support of the board and management of the bank to farmers.
“In support of our increasing and extended mandate for agricultural finance, the bank has introduced an agricultural value-chain department to focus specifically on agriculture support services such as inputs, production, processing, marketing, distribution and consumption, as well as agricultural related infrastructure financing,” he added.
Dr Mensah said the bank had also instituted a unique funding structure to support the government’s one-district, one-factory initiative, adding that, “adb is also a major player in the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.”
In an address read on his behalf, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, commended management of adb for fulfilling its promise and complementing government’s efforts to develop the agricultural sector in the country.
He expressed the hope that the bank would continue to provide the leadership in agriculture financing to inspire “our youth and so many people who may be having doubts about going into farming to transform the economy.”
According to the minster, the government was committed to turning the agricultural sector into a lucrative business venture.
For his part, Mr Crentsil expressed appreciation to adb for what he described as a “beautiful reward” which he believed would inspire the youth to see farming as a good business venture.
Recalling how the 1983 hunger in the country inspired him to develop interest in farming, the 2016 National Best Farmer encouraged the youth, regardless of the level of their education, to change their mindset about farming and explore the various government interventions in agriculture to improve on their lot.
“I never started farming with much money but the little I had helped me to start and I always reached out to agriculture extension officers who helped me to attain the level of success I have reached today,” he said.