'No cash for Farmers' Day' - Agric Minister
Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, has stated that the 2018 National Farmers’ Day celebration to be held in Tamale tomorrow, Friday, December 7, is likely to face challenges due to inadequacy of funds.
Briefing Parliament yesterday on the situation, Dr Afriyie Akoto said the organisation of the event was dependent largely on private donors since the GH¢2 million allocated has not been enough.
“The National Farmers’ Day as the name connotes is a big event that has serious budgetary implications.
“The constraints of the national budget have been a major drawback to this year’s preparations given that some budgetary allocations of GH¢2million approved for the fiscal year 2016 and 2017 was maintained for 2018.
“In effect, the Ministry has had to rely heavily on sponsorship of corporate Ghana and other development partners to ensure a successful celebrations,” Dr Afriyie Akoto told Parliament.
Hoping that going forward the budget to be approved for the celebration of the National Farmers’ Day will reflect the status of agriculture as the lead sector for propelling Ghana’s economy to the height of prosperity, Dr Afriyie Akoto said: “I trust, therefore, that in reviewing the 2019 budget estimates for the Ministry of Agriculture, this matter will seriously engage the attention of the House and receive favourable consideration.”
The celebration of this year’s National Farmers’ Day will be held in Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region. It is on the theme: ‘Agriculture: Moving Ghana Beyond Aid.’
The theme, according to Dr Afriyie Akoto, is very relevant and appropriate because it reflects the “premium placed on agriculture” by the current government and by “implication the farmer who’s the focus and target of government’s policies and programmes.”
The National Farmers’ Day is commemorated each year on the first Friday of December to honour our gallant farmers and fishers. The event acknowledges the vital position farmers and fishers occupy in the nations socio-economic development.
In particular, Ghana acknowledges farmers and fishers untiring efforts at feeding our growing population, providing raw materials to the nation’s industries, and contributing substantially to the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
Activities usually planned for the celebration include, a national farmers’ forum at which the award winners are expected to interact with policy makers and experts on some technological advances in the agricultural sector and also make their views known.
Prizes are awarded to deserving farmers and fishermen in order of best practices and outputs.