Mr Francis Gabriel Yaw Asante, a 55-year-old Assembly Member for the Offinso Central electoral area, was on Friday adjudged the Ashanti Regional best farmer at Domeabra in the Asante-Akim North District.
The award winner, who was also emerged the 2002 Regional Best farmer, took home a corn mill, knapsack sprayer, assorted agro-chemicals, a television set, a quantity of protective boots among other things.
Other farmers were also presented with prizes in various categories.
The ceremony, which was on the theme "Ghana @ 50: Progress and Challenges of Sustainable Agricultural Development", saw farmers drawn from virtually all parts of the region being rewarded.
Mr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, Ashanti Regional Minister, said the agricultural sector was the highest employer and contributor to the national Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the last 50 years.
"This underscores the importance of these annual celebrations. Farmers and fishermen truly deserve this recognition and honour because without their hard work and sacrifices our survival as a nation would be threatened."
He expressed regret that despite the hard work and sacrifices of farmers and fishermen in the development of the agricultural sector, they formed the majority of the poor and underprivileged in society.
The Regional Minister said poor access to financial services faced by farmers was rooted deep in the poor business orientation in their farm enterprises and that most farmers, majority of whom operate on small-scale, did not make any effort to keep simple records of their activities.
Mr Owusu-Ansah appealed to farmers to take farming as a business regardless of the scale of production to ensure they reap the full benefits of their toils.
Mr George Kwame Frimpong, Asante-Akim North District Chief Executive, cautioned against activities that could result in wildfires as the dry season approached and urged farmers to actively involve themselves in the control of the menace since they could be the worst affected.
Mr George Badu Yeboah, Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture, said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture had put concrete measures in place to ensure maximum food security and effective marketing of farm produce to encourage higher production.