A 60-year-old farmer from the Nkoranza South Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr James Obeng Boateng, was crowned the 2018 National Best Farmer at the 34th National Farmers Day (NFD) celebration in Tamale on Friday.
For his reward, Mr Boateng received a cash prize of $100,000, equivalent to GH¢480,000, which was sponsored by the Agricultural Development Bank.
The money is intended to be used to purchase agriculture equipment and tools for his farming activities.
Dressed in an all-white apparel, Mr Boateng received a dummy cheque for $100, 000 from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, held it firmly, and with broad smiles, thanked God and the government for the honour bestowed on him.
While savouring his crown at the event on the theme: “Agriculture: Moving Ghana Beyond Aid,” Mr Boateng also thanked his immediate family and workers for the support he had received from them which had brought him so far.
Married with six children and educated up to the tertiary level, Mr Boateng said the innovative ways of farming made it possible for him to reach out to both the local and export markets within the West African sub-region.
Other award winners
The National Best Farmer first runner-up went to Madam Charity Akortia from the Agona West District in the Central Region, while Mr Alex Frempong Tinkorang from Afram Plains South in the Eastern Region,was adjudged the second runner-up.
The overall National Best Cocoa Farmer went to Charles Gyamfi from Duayaw Nkwanta in the Tano North Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region, while the National Fisher went to Rexford Omari from Tema in the Greater Accra Region.
Mr Boateng has been farming for the past 18 years, and now has a workforce of 102, comprising 45 full-time employees and 57 casual workers.
He is highly diversified in his agricultural production, covering roots and tubers, cereals, vegetables, plantation crops, legumes and timber species.
He has large numbers of ruminants such as cattle, goats, sheep and poultry.
Additionally, he has 40 boxes of beehives which have been colonised with bees, two fish ponds stocked with tilapia and catfish.
Mr Boateng has worked so hard to acquire a global gap certification from South Africa, making his farm a real model one in the country.
He also has a good knowledge in record keeping and has acquired several beneficial technologies which have impacted positively on his farm operations.
He is also a member of the Nkoranza Farmers Association, Ashanti, and the Brong Ahafo Orange Farmers Association.
Mr Boateng is also passionate about community development and has undertaken the educational sponsorship for some community members by paying their school fees.
He also supported the construction of a three-classroom block and the renovation of a teachers’ residential apartment at Nyinase in the Brong Ahafo Region .
His farm has an excellent layout and very clean environment, where there is proper application of technology.
Addressing the durbar, President Akufo-Addo said the government would invest massively in the agricultural sector in 2019 to make the sector the fulcrum of Ghana’s industrialisation agenda.
In that regard, he said the government would be importing farm machinery valued at $216 million to support the agricultural sector.