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05.12.2009 Agriculture

39 farmers and fishermen receive awards in Ashanti Region

By gna
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Kwaso, (Ash), Dec. 5, GNA - Mr Edward Maxwell Aninkora from Daaban in the Kumasi Metropolis has been adjudged the Ashanti Regional Best Farmer.

For his prize, he took home a corn mill, spraying and sewing machines, full piece of wax print, radio cassette recorder, quantities of agro chemicals, 10 pieces of machete and seedling nursery bags.

In all, 39 farmers and fishermen were honoured for outstanding performance at the joint regional and municipal best farmer awards ceremony held at Kwaso in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality.

They included Mr Twumasi Ankra of Awuakrom in the Ahafo Ano North District, Regional Best Cocoa Farmer, Mr Amoh Mensah-Effa from Sefwi in the Amansie West District, Best Regional Fisherman and Mr Victor Opong Agyei from Bosore in the Kwabre district, Best Regional Poultry Farmer.

They received Television (TV) sets, bicycles, wheelbarrows, machetes, wax prints, deep freezers, spraying machines, and soap.

Nana Kwasi Bekoe, who was voted the Best Farmer in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality, was presented with TV set, a fridge, radio cassette recorder and other items.

Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, Regional Minister, said the country's economic strength depended on agriculture, which contributed about 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.

He urged Ghanaian farmers to embrace modern farming techniques and practices to increase their yield.

The Government, he said, was implementing a number of programmes to boost production under the phase two of the Food and Agricultural Sub-sector Development Programme.

The intervention include the Youth in Agriculture Programme, provision of guaranteed prices for all agricultural products to ensure food security and reduction of poverty and the establishment of mechanisation centres in the 10 regions.

He said attention was being focused on expansion of irrigation facilities, improved access to credit and inputs, processing, storage and marketing avenues as well as logistics to the Food and Agriculture Ministry to efficiently prosecute the national agenda of making the agricultural sector play lead role in the growth of the economy.

Mr Opoku-Manu commended the award winners for their hard work and dedication to the nation.

Mr George Badu Yeboah, Regional Director of Agriculture called for the formation of strong farmer-based organisations to serve as collateral for credit facilities and to play advocacy role to influence policy in their favour.

Mr Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi, Member of Parliament for Ejisu-Juaben, appealed to the youth to take interest in agriculture.

Mr Ahmed Boakye-Agyeman, Municipal Chief Executive, said about 700 farmers in the area have been supplied with improved cassava planting materials for replanting under the Root and Tuber Improvement Project, which is being implemented in the area.

Mallam Issah, President of the Regional Best Farmers Association, called on the government to assist cocoa farmers with loans to rehabilitate their farms to achieve the nation's one-million- ton cocoa production target.

GNA

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