Mr Yaw Owusu, who was on Friday adjudged the 2007 best farmer for the Kumasi metropolis, has appealed to the government to broaden the scope of the educational scholarship scheme and other incentive packages instituted for cocoa farmers to cover other farmers.
He said this would motivate them to give off their best for increased productivity and sustainable development of the agricultural sector.
Mr Owusu, 47, was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after he had been crowned best farmer for the metropolis at a ceremony held at Atwima-Techiman near Kumasi.
He was given one bicycle, a piece of wax print cloth, 10 cutlasses, two Wellington boots, 10 bars of key soap, a mobile phone and a certificate.
Mr Owusu said it was unfortunate that whereas cocoa farmers had ready markets and guaranteed prices for their produce, the same could not be said of other farmers who have to virtually struggle to sell their produce.
Such a situation, he said, was a disincentive to the growth of the agricultural sector as farmers found it difficult to recoup the investment and resources put into their work.
He appealed to corporate bodies to collaborate with farmers and strive to provide them with adequate financial support to enable them expand their businesses whilst adopting the best of farming practices.
Mr Eli Kumatse, the Metropolitan Director of Agriculture, decried the high rate at which people were encroaching on farmlands in the country and said the time had come for government to stop it to ensure food sufficiency for the growing population.
Twenty-three individuals and institutions were awarded and they took home cutlasses, bicycles, Wellington boots, key soap, wall clocks and certificate.