Seventy Ghanaian farmers vie for farmer of the year award

Seventy farmers and extension officers who have distinguished themselves in the agriculture sector will be honoured today at the 26th edition of the annual National Fanners Day celebration.

The event is being held at the Yilo Krobo Senior High School at Somanya in the Eastern Region with President J.E.A. Mills in attendance to honour farmers, fishermen and agricultural extension officers in various award categories such as crops, fisheries and livestock.

Provisional data at the Minnistry of Agriculture (MoFA) indiicates that up to September this year, the sector grew by 4.8 per cent with real hope that the end-of-year actual target of 6.0 percent is achievable to make 2010 one of the most productive years for Ghanaian farmers.

Indeed all sub-sectors in the agriculture sector, according to the national budget, achieved their targets except the crops and livestock sub-sectors which posted a growth rate of 5.0 per cent against a target of 7.0 per cent.

To celebrate the cream of the nation’s men and women who helped achieve that target, President Mills will join more than 5,000 visitors, including members of the Diplomatic Corps, ministers of state, parliamentarians, directors of agriculture, award winners and farmers at Somanya.

The celebration is being held on the theme “Grow More Foods” and to herald it, hundreds of visitors turned up yesterday to participate in an exhibition of assorted farm products, agro-chemicals, machinery and other agricultural inputs.

Officials of the MoFA and members of the Eastern Regional Planning Committee of the National Farmers Day also were at the exhibition but were tight-lipped as to who would emerge as the winner of the ultimate prize.

During a visit to Somanya yesterday, members of the planning committee, made up of representatives of the Ghana Health Service, MoFA, the Eastern Regional Co-ordinating Council, the Ghana Tourist Board among others, were working around the clock to put finishing touches to preparations.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Deputy Director of Fisheries of MoFA, Mr Lionel Awity, said “As I talk to you, even the farmer to be adjudged the Best National Farmer does not know it until all awardee farmers have been called for their awards tomorrow.”

He said it would take many by surprise.

In an address at the exhibition, the Eastern Regional] Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said even though the country was blessed with commercial quantities of oil, the government was determined not to relegate agriculture to the background.

He, therefore, urged Ghanaians especially the youth, to take advantage of the various government initiatives in the agriculture sector to create employment opportunities for themselves and enhance their living standard.

Source: Daily Graphic

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