In Ghana, about 52 % of the labour force is engaged in agriculture. Approximately, 39 % of farm labour force is women.
Agriculture contributes to 54 % of Ghana’s GDP, and accounts for over 40 % of export earnings, while at the same time providing over 90 % of the food needs of the country.
It is for this reason that the Chief Executive for the Obuasi Municipal Assembly Hon Elijah Adansi-Bonah has advised farmers to prioritize their health needs.
Speaking to the media at the sidelines of a durbar in Obuasi to mark the 39th National Farmers'day at Binsere, the MCE said while government is focused on implementing policies to boost agriculture and ensure food security, it was important for farmers whom he described as drivers of the nation's economy to take care of their health to be able to produce more to sustain the country.
This year's national farmers' day coincided with the World AIDS Day celebrations. The Obuasi MCE seized the opportunity to advise farmers to be extremely careful of their sexual activities.
"Let us all practice the Abstinences, Be Faithful to your partner and practice the use of Condoms. This is the best way to take care of ourselves to avoid infection," he stated.
Second phase of PFJ right solutions to Agricultural challenges
Honorable Adansi-Bonah in his speech lauded the government for introducing the Phase II of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) program which he said was to consolidate the gains of the Planting for Food and Jobs program rolled out in 2017.
Targeted at building on the successes of the initial program, the second phase of the program is a five-year master plan for the transformation of agriculture in Ghana through modernization in the development of selected commodity value chains and active private sector participation.
He charged farmers and the people of Obuasi to take full advantage of the program and other interventions rolled out by government in the Agricultural sector to improve their livelihoods.
The Municipal Director of Agriculture Yaw Owusu Donkor Junior commended farmers in the Municipality for their relentless efforts and key role in the Socio-Economic development of the country.
Touching on tbe theme for this year's edition of the national farmers' day, " Delivering Smart solutions for sustainable food security and resilience", the Agric Director said, it was to draw the country's attention to the rationale behind the government's Planting for Food and Jobs program rolled out in 2017 which was to deliver target solutions to the challenges within the agricultural sector.
He said it was worth noting that farmers, despite their challenges continue to work hard hard and demonstrate high levels of resilience to live up to their mandate of ensuring food security.
He advised farmers to work closely with the Extension Officers and follow their instructions and directives. He said this would help them adopt the right farming methods. He also encouraged them to form farm-based organisations which will enable them get a united front to fight for their interest.
After a thorough farm visit and assessment by the MOFA department of the Obuasi Municipal, 51-year-old Godfred Klomega of Nhyiaeso in the Obuasi Municipality was adjudged the 2023 Municipal Best Farmer.
Mr. Klomega, who has 23.5 acre of deveoped land and into intercrop production, fish farming, and livestock production, took home 40-inch LED TV, Motorised Tricycles (Aboboyaa), 2 Wellington Boots, 12 piece of GTP wax print, 1box of Key soap, 2 Knapsack sprayers, machetes, and 1box of Sunphosate Glyphosate Weedicide and 1 brush cutter, all sponsored by AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine.
In his speech, he talked about the economic benefits of agriculture. He said his standard of living has improved since he ventured into agriculture 23 years ago with one of his children now a medical doctor.
He encouraged the youth to develop interest in agriculture stressing that the benefits involved are enormous.
"What I can tell the youth is that, Agriculture has a lot of benefits. I am a beneficiary and I encourage everybody to develop interest in it," he stated.
He also advised farmers to work closely with the Agric Extension officers who will help them adopt and apply the right technology in their farms.
The second-best farmer went to Francis Coffee from Mampamhwe No.2 while 11 other farmers and an extension officer were awarded by the Assembly.