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14.10.2004 General News

Best farmer receives prize

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Accra, Oct. 14, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday said the Government would continue to create the enabling environment towards the attainment of macro-economic stability, good governance, transparency and rule of law to a make positive impact on the living conditions of the people.

"For the sake of today's poor, marginalized, hungry people and for future generations, we must not shirk this important responsibility," he said.

President Kufuor said this in a speech read for him by Mr Allan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiative (PSI) at the handing over ceremony of a three-bedroom house to the 2003 National Best Farmer, Mr Adjei Twum Bandoh in Accra. The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) sponsored 450 million cedis house built by Saleem Investment Limited.

President Kufuor said it was the Government's policy to devote increasing attention to the development of agriculture and the success of this policy would depend largely on the support and contributions of farmers.

He said the institutionalisation of Farmers' Day celebration was to acknowledge the critical roles farmers and fishermen played in turning around the country.

Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), Minister of Food and Agriculture, said when the award was established some two decades ago, the National Best Farmers received cutlasses, pick-ups and tillers but when the New Patriotic Party Government assumed office they realised that those items could not last long.

It was for that reason the Government decided to enhance the prizes to motivate farmers.

Maj. Quashigah thanked ADB for keeping faith with the Government by honouring their promise on time.

He announced that another bank had promised to sponsor this year's National Best Farmers' Award with a two-bedroom house.

Mr Emmanuel Boakye-Agyeman, Deputy Managing Director of ADB, said poor rate of loan recovery affected their ability to meet many more credit needs of the agricultural sector and appealed to defaulters to keep to the terms of their loan agreements and repay their loans. This way they would guarantee that the Bank would survive and continue to meet their needs and those of other operators in the agricultural sector.

Mr Boakye-Agyeman pledged the Bank's continuous support for the celebration.

Mr John Dziwornu, General Secretary of Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen, said as their contribution, the Award Winners Association would sponsor Mr Bandoh to a six-day agricultural show in Paris.

Mr Bandoh thanked the Government for honouring its promise and said the house was open to all farmers.

He appealed to ADB to purchase a tractor for him to enhance his farming.

Mr Bandoh also thanked his parents for the proper upbringing, which he said, equipped him to win the award.

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