John Deere, a company that deals in modern agriculture equipment and machinery, has announced an annual award scheme for journalists who report on agriculture.
Among other things, the initiative is meant to promote agriculture in the country through consistent dissemination of information on innovations and best practices in the sector.
The maiden edition of the initiative will be held later this year to celebrate excellence in agriculture reporting and also promote research into the sector.
The Country Manger of AFGRI, a subsidiary of John Deere, Mr Gerrie Jordan, who announced the move in Accra last Wednesday, said the time had come for innovative technologies to be adopted to promote the country’s agriculture.
He was speaking when a delegation from the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association (NFFAWA) visited the company.
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The visit by the association was to mark the birthday of John Deere, the Founder of the parent company.
It also provided an opportunity for members of the farmer association to discuss ways by which they could collaborate with the company to promote agriculture.
Since it started operations in the country, AFGRI has been a one-stop supplier of heavy duty agriculture machinery and equipment to farmers across the country.
Mr Jordan underscored the need for a concerted effort to adopt innovative solutions to promote agriculture, stressing the need to do away with the use of crude tools and implements for farming.
He said as part of steps to promote agriculture, the company had organised a number of training sessions for farmers and other stakeholders to build their capacity.
He added that AFGRI and John Deere were opened to partnerships with the government, especially when there was the need to enhance collaboration to sustain the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) policy.
The Chairman of NFFAWA, Mr Davis Korboe, lauded the effort by the company to promote agriculture in the country.
He described the initiative to roll out an award scheme for journalists as a good step towards boosting information dissemination and awareness creation of the prospects of the agriculture sector.
AFGRI / John Deere
The company also provides financial solutions by linking farmers to other partners and empowers stakeholders in the agriculture value chain through training and capacity building.
The company, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other agencies, has established demonstration farms to train farmers in best practices in agriculture.
The model farms, which are located mostly in the Upper West, Upper East and Northern regions, use appropriate technologies to promote farming.