The Akrofuom District Assembly marked the 39th Farmers' Day with an impressive celebration, where Mr. Morro Fuseini stood out as the district's best farmer.
A total of sixteen individuals received recognition during the ceremony, comprising 14 outstanding farmers, one cocoa officer, and the best agricultural staff.
Hailing from Adamso- Nyamebekyere, Mr. Morro Fuseini, with an impressive 25 years of farming experience, manages a diverse agricultural enterprise. His achievements include a 14-acre palm tree farm, 3 acres dedicated to cassava, 3 acres for plantain cultivation, as well as 12 goats and a cocoa plantation.
In recognition of his dedication and contributions to agriculture in the district, Mr. Morro Fuseini was presented with a range of prizes, including a motor tricycle, 2 sprayers, 10 cutlasses, a 40-inch television, and 12 pieces of clothing.
At the Durbar held at Takyikrom, the Member of Parliament for the area Hon. Alex Blankson highlighted the importance of Farmers' Day celebrations, recognizing farmers, motivating them with awards, and showcasing government's support for their vital contribution to the economy.
He announced plans to start his own farm due to the various incentives the government has rolled out in the agricultural sector with a particular emphasis on recemt increase in cocoa prices.
He commended the District Chief Executive for Akrofuom Dr. Maurice Jonas Woode for successfully venturing into catfish and coconut farming.
Hon. Blankson admonished farmers in the district to take advantage of the Agric interventions the government has intoduced including the recently launched Phase II of the planting for food and jobs program.
He urged farmers to stay motivated, work harder after receiving awards, and avoid complacency to increase their chances of being nominated and winning in future Farmers' Day events.
The Akrofuom MP further revealed ongoing support from the District Assembly to provide coconut seedlings to farmers every year. He also noted contributions from the Minerals Development Fund, supplying palm nut seedlings to farmers.
He again, made a personal commitment to provide between 25,000- 30,000 palm nut seedlings available.These efforts aim to support local farmers and provide raw materials for a proposed future factory in the district.
Dr. Maurice Jonas Woode, the District Chief Executive of Akrofuom, emphasized the district's significant contribution to the Cocobod warehouse in Obuasi. He called for support from the Cocobod in cocoa production in the district.
Recognizing farming as humanity's first task from God, Dr.Woode expressed gratitude to farmers for their vital role, especially in ensuring food security during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hon. Maurice Jonas Woode emphasized the crucial role of farming in providing financial support and contributing to national development. Despite the prevailing negative perception of farming, he highlighted the government's efforts to make agriculture more lucrative through initiatives like Planting for Food and Jobs.
He added that with the introduction of Planting for Food and Jobs Phase II (PFJ 2.0), the focus is on facilitating farmers' access to quality seedlings, farming implements, financial support, and improved marketing opportunities. Hon. Woode urged public participation in PFJ 2.0, stressing that it has the potential to increase food production for both domestic consumption and export.
The government's Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) program in Akrofuom district has distributed 75,200 coconut and 165,000 palmtree seedlings for free. Hon. Maurice Jonas Woode highlighted on the need for widespread participation to ensure an abundance of coconut and palmtree in the next three years.
Hon. Maurice Jonas Woode encouraged youth participation in E-Jobs4All, a program launched by the National Alternative Employment and Livelihoods Programme for Illegal Miners (NAELP) to counter illegal mining.
"Market infrastructure is being developed across the district, with a significant one in Takyikrom, similar to the structure in Arofuom, facilitating the sale of farming products. Infrastructure improvements, including road construction, aim to ease transportation of farm products", he stressed.
The Akrofuom DCE added that Agric Extension officers have been deployed to assist farmers, particularly the youth, and deliver farming inputs. As a farmer himself, he emphasized the financial importance of growing coconuts, especially on lands affected by mining activities. He expressed gratitude to MP Hon. Alex Blankson for supporting farmers in the district.
On his part, District Director of Agric Richard Amo Koranteng said the theme for this year's edition "Delivering smart solutions for sustainable food security and resilience," reflects government's commitment to the success of Agriculture.
He mentioned the government's "Planting for Export and Rural Development" initiative and the independent efforts of local leaders to plant and share 10,000 seedlings annually. Donors, including government initiatives and institutions like the Minerals Development Fund, contributed 52,000 coconuts and 82,000 oil palm seedlings.
The Agric director also stressed on efforts to reduce rabies cases in society were noted, thanks to rabies vaccines for dogs.
Sixteen individuals were awarded based on fair assessments, emphasizing hard work and increased food production. Farmers were encouraged to collaborate with extension officers for successful cultivation.
Morro Fuseini, the District Best Farmer encouraged the youth to embrace farming, highlighting the benefits he has gained. Morro pledged to provide advice and support to young individuals interested in farming.