Some twenty outstanding farmers were on Friday, December 7, 2018 presented with awards at the 34th National Farmers’ Day celebration at Angu in the Mpohor District of the Western Region.
Mr. Kofi Baako, 62, of Adom Banso emerged the Overall District Best Farmer.
He was presented with a certificate, a tricycle, a radio, a piece of cloth, a wall clock, a spraying machine, a wellington boot, four cutlasses and six bags of wheat bran.
Mr. Kofi Baako owes 5 acres of maize, 12 acres of oil palm plantation, 5 acres each of cassava, plantain and banana, 4 acres of vegetable plantations, 304 (indigenous microorganism) pig's on a large number scale, 14 cattle and two large fish ponds.
Mr. Vasco Eno Kankam, 55, of EDAA went home with a certificate, 2 wellington boot, 4 cutlasses, one wall clock, a radio, a piece of cloth, and a bicycle.
He also owns 22 acres of Cocoa trees, 6 acres of plantain, 4 acres each of cocoyam and cassava.
The rest are 3 acres of vegetables, 12 goats and 33 local fowls.
The Second District Best runner-up, Kwame Sigah 62, also went home with the same items the 1st runner-up had except the bicycle, he had a sewing machine.
A 51-year-old Physically Challenge, Kojo Nkrumah from Adum Trebuom also emerged as the District Best Farmer in food crops and the MP for the area awarded him personally with substantial amount of money and also received other items from the organizers.
Speaking at the event, the District Director of Agriculture, Mr. Enoch Smith Koranteng, said the theme for this year’s, “Farming for Food and Jobs Ghana beyond Aid" was excellently chosen to invest more into food business to raise the food security and foreign status of the country take Ghana beyond Aid.
He disclosed that under the government’s flagship “Planting for Food and Jobs” program, a total number of 3000 farmers had been registered and provided with quantities of inputs including fertilizers and seeds at subsidized prices under the program.
He added that the District has a lot of wetlands which can be used for cabbage production and appealed to the farmers to venture into cabbage production.
Mr. Koranteng said the 'Planting for Food and Jobs' in Mpohor District faced a lot of challenges initially but have been addressed especially the Army worm infections which are under control.
“So far AYIEM, Aprepanso, Manso, Angu, Sentiaw, Trebuam, K3 and Ayinaase communities are involved in the Planting for Food and Jobs and this is not encouraging”, he added.
He thanked the District Chief Executive, Hon Ignatius Asaah Mensah and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Alex Agyekum for the unflinching supports given to the Agricultural Department.
He encouraged the award winners to put up their best and win a national award in future.
Mr. Ignatius Asaah Mensah, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Mpohor District expressed his profound gratitude to the farmers in the District, saying despite the many challenges associated with farming, the farmers never ceased to ensure all-year-round food production.
He said agriculture plays a vital role in the transformation of the economy and the nation as a whole and added that besides tourism and oil and gas, agriculture has the potential to totally transform the nation and make it a prosperous one.
According to him, “Majority of the people can feel a change in their lives when we develop agriculture rapidly… therefore particularly excited that this year’s National Farmers Day Celebration is under the theme, ” Ghana beyond aids ", there could not have been a better theme for today’s event”.
Admittedly, he revealed that the farmers suffered some setbacks, including land disputes, financial difficulties, technical issues and lack of ready markets for farm produce hence these challenges undoubtedly make the agriculture as a profession undesirable and attractive to many people, most especially the youth.
The Member of Parliament donated GHC200 each to the first three award winners and GHC100 each to the other winners from his own source.
GhanaWeb's Western Regional Correspondent visited the Overall District Best Farmer's farm on Monday, December 10, 2018 and interacted with him and it was so interesting visit.
The Overall District Best Farmer, Mr. Kofi Baako gave thanks to workers and his family members who supported him to win this prestigious award.
He also thanked the District Agric Department for selecting him as the Overall District Best Farmer for the year 2018.
He promised to work tirelessly to contribute his quota to the development of this country.
He, therefore, seized the opportunity and appealed to government to invest more in the agricultural sector of this country to ensure good security.
He urged the youth of this country to involve themselves into farming and fishing and advised them to refrain from unacceptable behaviour that could destroy their lives.