Make mechanisation of agriculture priority: U/E Best Farmer urges govt
The 2022 Upper East Regional Best Farmer, Awintuna Akande, has urged the government to make mechanisation of the agricultural sector a topmost priority to boost food production in the country.
He said farmers needed the required modern equipment to enhance their operations and increase their yield to feed the growing Ghanaian population.
“In today’s era, people are not ready to use their energy and strength to farm, and in order to improve the agricultural sector, the government must make equipment available in farming communities to enhance production,” he stated.
Mr Akande, 49, from Tilli in the Bawku West District, said this in a brief remark after he was crowned the regional farmer during the 38th National Farmers Day celebration held at the Jubilee Park in Bolgatanga on December 2, 2022.
He currently cultivates 200 acres of maize, 25 acres of soya beans, 25 acres of millet, 10 acres of groundnut and rears 75 cattle. Mr Akande also keeps 45 goats, 25 sheep, 500 guinea fowls, 300 poultry and 400 local fowls.
For his prize, he received a tricycle, mist blower, knapsack spraying machine and a certificate.
He disclosed that although he had 3,500 acres of farm lands to utilise, he was unable to put all of them to good use due to the unavailability of modern agricultural equipment to facilitate the work on the farms.
He stressed that the youth were shying away from going into agriculture since they were not ready and willing to use their strength, adding, “the surest way to entice the youth into the sector is to provide equipment, which would make the work easier and faster”.
A total of seven farmers received regional awards, while 11 other farmers also received awards in the Bolgatanga Municipality during the ceremony.
Abigail Atanga was also adjudged the Overall Best Farmer in the Bolgatanga Municipality, and received a tricycle, cutlass, a pair of Wellington boots, a piece of cloth, certificate and other farm inputs.
Addressing the ceremony, the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, commended the farmers for their contributions over the years towards the development of the region and the country as a whole.
He stated that the current economic challenges faced by the country could have been surmounted with value added agriculture, saying it was against this background that the government had since 2017 rolled out a number of interventions aimed at modernising agriculture for the benefit of the nation.
Further, Mr Yakubu appealed to private investors to come to the region to establish factories under the government’s One-District, One-Factory initiative, stressing “we need the private sector as the engine of growth to partner the government to make the 1D1F successful”.