Farmers in Ghana have been commended for their invaluable role in assuaging the impact of the global food crisis on the country.
Addressing farmers, fishers and other stakeholders at the 24th National Farmers Day Celebrations in Techiman, President Kufuor noted the farmers remain the backbone of the country's economy and pledged government's continued support in that regard.
The celebration was under the theme "Globalisation, its effects on agriculture production in Ghana"
President Kufour appealed to farmers to focus attention on the implementation of the Millennium Challenge Project which he said was the sure way to the modernisation of the agricultural sector.
Under the project, credit, post harvest storage facilities, marketing and irrigation facilities would be made available to farmers to ensure an accelerated growth and development of the sector.
He urged the beneficiary communities to work assiduously towards the success of the project in order for it to be replicated in other districts.
He mentioned the commissioning of two tractor assembly plants under his administration and urged stakeholders to take advantage of the increasing drive towards the modernisation of agriculture.
On fishing, President Kufuor said funds have been mobilized to complete the building of six new fishing harbours at strategic places along the coast.
“Fishing equipment are also to be modernized with the introduction of fibre glass and motorised canoes,” he added
These harbours when completed would solve the perennial problem of post harvest loses the industry suffers.
He also announced the institution of a national fishers and aqua culture policy to regulate the fishing industry in the country.
The President commended a fish farm in the Eastern Region for being adjudged the second largest aqua culture farm in the whole of Africa by an International evaluation exercise to determine which country had the potential for developing fish farming.
The farm produced 5000 metric tonnes of fish a year.
He also commended the development partners for their support and hoped that same support would be extended to his successor.
With exactly a month to go for the elections, the President advised electorates to eschew ethnicity and conduct thorough assessment of the various Presidential candidates before casting their votes.
Fisheries Minister, Gladys Asmah lamented the effects of the global hikes in crude oil which adversely affected the provision of premix fuel to fishers, but added the sector has chalked remarkable successes in the year under review.
Chairman of the occasion, Osahene Kweku Atakyi II, newly elected President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, commended government for its continued support to farmers, and for the selection of the Brong Ahafo Region as hosts of the ceremony.
He appealed to government to extend the Millenium Challenge Project to the Brong Ahafo Region, since the region, he said, marked the food basket of the country.
Dr. Simon Saku in the Brong Ahafo Region was adjudged the overall National Best Farmer and was rewarded with a fully furnished three bedroom house to be built at a place of his choice as his prize.
As an additional incentive, he was also awarded a Toyota Pick Up sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Madam Janet Nyabase in the Upper East Region and Maurice Derry in the Upper West Region won a Toyota Pick Up and a tractor respectively for occupying the first and second runners up positions.
Story by Nathan Gadugah