The 2017 Farmers Day celebration has been held at Nakom, a farming community in the Pusiga District of the Upper East Region.
The celebration, which was organized on the theme: “Farming for Food and Jobs,” was attended by Chiefs and Queen mothers, Heads of Department, Non-Governmental Organizations, farmers, the general public and the media.
In an address, Mr Gerard Morgan, District Director of Agriculture, said the quest to revamp the Agriculture sector to boost the economy and create jobs for the teaming jobless youth in the society had made government implement its timely flagship programme known as the “Planting for Food and Jobs”.
Mr Morgan said the programme, since its implementation, had increased the land area for cultivation and impacted on the lives of farmers in the district in terms of increase in yields, income for farmers, employment for the youth and improvement in the living standards of farmers and their households.
He urged opinion leaders and stakeholders in the agriculture value chain and the Agriculture staff to make sure that inputs were used for the intended purposes while encouraging them to form groups to promote collective action.
He also appealed to beneficiary farmers who bought government’s subsidized fertilizer to do their best to pay all outstanding balance to the banks for the sustainability of the programme and urged farmers to move away from subsistence farming to commercial and market-oriented farming since Agriculture globally was transforming at unprecedented rates.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Hon. Abdulai Zubeiru, in his remarks, said the theme for the occasion “Farming for Food and Jobs” was in line with His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s transformational Agenda which sought to pursue measures that would bridge the gap between Ghana’s food and cash crop production and consumption levels.
Equally, Hon. Zubeiru said, the theme was also in line with the government’s vision of creating prosperity and equal opportunities for all.
Hon. Abdulai also added that the perception that anything foreign was good was not helping the Ghanaian economy and that attitudes should change for the nation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, as well as the Government’s policy of “Ghana beyond Aid”.
“We must end our craze for imported items. Let us grow what we eat and eat what we grow” he said.
He said Agriculture remained the priority of Government’s vision to ensure food security in the country, hence the implementation of the fertilizer subsidy programme; One village, One Dam proigramme to enhance dry season farming; One District, One Warehouse programme to reduce post-harvest loses; One District, One Exportable Product programme as part of efforts to boost non-traditional exports; Modernization of Agriculture; Improving proper production efficiency; and Achieving food security and profitability for our farmers.
He also congratulated the 2017 Farmers Day award winners in the Pusiga District and urged them to keep up the hard work that had earned them the awards while urging those who had not been selected not rest on their oars, but continue to work harder for their turn.
Eleven (11) award winners, comprising of men, women and the physically challenged were honoured with various prizes with Naaba Avigib Akeab, an 87-year-old chief of Tanchingo Number one (1) a community in the Pusiga District, emerging as the overall District Best Farmer.
Naaba Avigib Akeab has sixty two (62) years of farming experience in crop and animal husbandry. He cultivates maize, sorghum, rice, cowpea, soya beans, sesame and rearscattle, sheep, goats, donkey, horse, rabbits, turkeys, fowls, guinea fowls, ducks, pigeons, dogs and cats, some of which are pets.
For his prize, he took home a tricycle, a knapsack sprayer, a pair of wellington boots, cutlasses, pics sacks, NPK fertilizer and a half piece of cloth.
Source: ISD (Raphael Azare Kariyama)