As the 36th annual National Farmers Day was held in the Bono East regional capital, Techiman, yesterday, so did all regions, metropolises, municipalities and districts across the country mark the day with durbars at which deserving farmers in various categories were awarded.
In the Ashanti Region, Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor reports from Gyinyase in the Asokwa municipality that a 35-year-old student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Mr Samuel Osei Nyantakyi, emerged as the municipality’s best farmer.
For his prize, he took home a tricycle, better known as aboboya, a certificate, Wellington boots, a standing fan and other farm inputs.
He became the second person to win the overall best farmer award since its inception in the municipality.
Mr Nyaaba Aduko (4th left), the Bolgatanga Municipal Best Farmer, receiving his certificate from Mr Joseph Amiyuure, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive
Mr Nyantakyi is engaged in animal husbandry, rearing animals such as pigs, goats, and sheep and is also involved in poultry farming.
He also does crop farming and has a coconut plantation.
Earlier in his address, the Municipal Chief Executive of Asokwa, Mr Akwannuasah Gyimah, praised farmers for their hard work which had sustained the nation all these years.
He said even though the municipality was a very urban one, a lot of the residents were engaged in farming and that the area was a leading producer of vegetables in the region.
He said about two-thirds of all vegetables sold in markets in Kumasi and its surrounding districts came from Asokwa.
The MCE said the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, had promised to assist farmers in the municipality with a storage facility to help them store their produce and even export them to the international markets.
Mr Gyimah said gradually farming in the municipality was moving from the old subsistence farming to a commercial one where people were investing in their farming activities to also earn some income from it.
Mr Akwannuasah Gyimah (middle) presenting the keys to the tricycle to Mr Samuel Osei Nyantakyi. On the left is Ms Martha Ashami Armah, Asokwa Municipal Director of Agriculture
As a result, he said, the municipality was seeing an increase in the number of people venturing into farming and also encouraged the youth to go into farming and build a future for themselves.
From Sumbrungu in the Bolgatanga municipality of the Upper East Region, Vincent Amenuveve reports that Mr Nyaaba Aduko from Nyariga, a suburb in the municipality, was adjudged this year's Overall Municipal Best Farmer.
He took home a Motorking Tricycle, cutlass, knapsack sprayer, a pair of Wellington boots, half piece of GTP cloth, two bars of key soap, a bag of NPK and liquid fertiliser as well as a certificate.
The Overall Best Municipal female farmer went to Miss Elizabeth Agoore from Yikene in the municipality.
She was given a refrigerator, a water pumping machine, cutlass, a knapsack sprayer, a pair of Wellington boots, half piece of GTP cloth, two bars of keysoap, a radio set, a bag of NPK and liquid fertiliser as well as a certificate.
A physically challenged farmer from Sumbrungu Kolgo, a suburb of the municipality, Mr Anoome Kwabena, was also honoured with a refrigerator, a certificate and other farm inputs to aid his farming activities.
In all,13 farmers, including three females, were rewarded for their hard work and dedication to the agricultural sector in the Bolgatanga municipality.
Hajia Salma Sani Mohammed Adams-Kuta (left), Ayawaso East Municipal Chief Executive, inspecting some farm produce on display during the 36th National Farmer’s Day of the Municipality. With her is Chief Seidu Louis (3rd left), the Chairman of the Ayawaso East Council of Muslim Chiefs and others
Addressing the award winners, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Joseph Amiyuure, stated that the government, in spite of the negative impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease on farming activities, was determined to sustain farming activities in the north.
He announced that 50 women farmers had been selected to benefit from the Rearing for Food and Jobs programme in the municipality.
Twenty-seven farmers and fishermen, including five females, received various prizes during the Farmers Day celebrations held at Kpongu in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region, reports Emmanuel Modey.
The overall best in the 27 selected categories in agriculture was a 47-year-old man, Mr Mohammed Imori, based in Kpongu. For his prize, Mr Imori received a tricycle, knapsack, Wellington boots, cutlasses and other agriculture inputs.
The five females, who were also adjudged winners, included the best women group, the Tuurosong Rice Women’s Group, based in Jonga, while a 45-year-old female resident in Boli, Ms Safia Osman, was declared the best in the female category. The best performing Agriculture Extension Agent award went to Mr Abdul-Salaam Alhassan of Charia.
Increased PFJ enrolment
The Municipal Director of Agriculture, Mr Abu Huddle Bampuori, said this year had seen an increase of farmers participating in the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme in the area.
According to him, acreages cultivated had also increased from 28,150 recorded for last year to 35,000 with a total of 75,644 beneficiaries including 16,173 females which had led to an increase in food production.
The Municipal Chief Executive ( MCE ), Alhaji Issahaku Moomin Tahiru, said the Planting for Export and Rural Development ( PERD ) initiative was on course. So far, cashew plantation had been established in Busa and Nakore with the distribution of 72,520 seedlings to farmers.
He, however, said under the Savannah Investment Programme aimed at boosting the production of meat in the area, a total of 97 selected farmers, mostly the youth were yet to receive a number of layer and broiler birds to provide employment in the livestock industry.
At Tema Manhean in the Tema Metropolis, Benjamin Xornam Glover reports that a 35-year-old Navy personnel, Petty Officer Class II Philomena Sapak, was adjudged the best farmer at the Farmers Day celebration.
Mr Osman Issah came second while Mr Joseph Tetteh won the third best farmer in the metropolis. In all, seven farmers and fishers were recognised for their exploits in farming in the metropolis.
Petty Officer Class II Sapak was rewarded with a tricycle, a knapsack spraying machine and a radio set, among other items, worth GH¢9, 579. She also received an amount of GH¢20,000 from Kingdom Exim Group of Companies, one of the sponsors of the celebration in the metropolis.
Both Mr Issah and Mr Tetteh received flat screen television sets, some farm inputs, wax print, knapsack sprayers and bags of cement.
The Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Felix Nii Mensah Annang-La, said in spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies globally, farmers in Ghana had been spared and agriculture was experiencing some growth.
He said the assembly had undertaken initiatives to ensure food security in the metropolis through continuous provision of effective and timely technical support for farming and agri-business.
The Tema Metropolitan Director of Agriculture, Mrs Dora Ankrah, said in spite of the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Department of Agriculture would continue to provide the needed support through extension service for increased productivity along the value chain.
The ultimate prize for Ayawaso Municipal East in the Greater Accra Region was won by 36-year-old farmer at Nima, Mr Bernard Larki, at the Farmers Day celebration held at the Kawukudi Park, report Joshua Bediako Koomson and Augustina Dzodzegbe.
For his prize, he received a certificate, a knapsack spraying machine, two cutlasses, one motor bicycle, as well as fertiliser and weedicides to aid him in his farming activities.
Mr Larki, who has been engaged in livestock and crop farming for 10 years, is an alumnus of the Adisadel College and is currently a student of the University of Ghana.
A livestock farmer, Mr Osman Issah, emerged the first runner up, Mr Isaac Teye Tetteh, who engages in cash crop production, also received an award as the best crop farmer, while Mr Mudalib Saani was also honoured for emerging the best livestock farmer.
An 18-year-old Senior High School graduate from Krobo Girls SHS, Miss Sharon Rachel Cobbina Brown, was crowned the best youth farmer, while an officer at the Department of Agriculture at the assembly, Mr Alexander Ansong Gyamfi, also received the best agric extension agent award.
Twelve distinguished farmers and fishermen were honoured at the 36th Farmers Day celebration in the Agona West municipality, reports Gilbert Mawuli Agbey.
A 45-year-old farmer, Mr Kwesi Adjei, who hails from Kwesi Donkor, a village near Edukrom, was adjudged the overall best farmer in the municipality. He has 30 acres of cocoa, 15 acres of oil palm, four acres of citrus, five acres of coconut, 10 acres of cassava and 10 acres of plantain.
The rest are five acres of cocoyam and maize each, eight acres of vegetables, 20 sheep, 50 goats and 200 local fowls.
He took home a tricycle, standing fan, cutlasses, Wellington boots and a mattress as his prize.
Addressing the ceremony, the Municipal Chief Executive for Agona West, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, commended the farmers for their continuous contributions towards improving the country’s economy.
She said that the government, through the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, had shored up the country’s food production, which led to stable food prices with its attendant positive effects on the lives of farmers.
She explained that the government would continue to pursue and introduce interventions that would increase agricultural production to improve the living conditions of ordinary farmers.
The Member of Parliament for Agona West, Mrs Cynthia Morrison, while commending the awardees, urged them to always adhere to best agricultural practices in order to increase their yield.
On behalf of the awardees, Mr Adjei urged the government to improve the road networks in the area to enable farmers to cart their farm produce to market centres for sale.