Krobo (B/A), Nov. 8, GNA - The misuse of agro- chemicals has been identified as one of the many problems that contribute to food poisoning in the country.
Mr. Isaac Osei-Antwi, Techiman Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) made the point when he addressed a farmer's rally at Krobo near Techiman in connection with the 20th annual farmers day under the theme: " food safety and improved nutrition for a healthy and active nation". Mr. Osei-Antwi said the storage of cereals as well as legumes with higher moisture content makes them mouldy.
He urged farmers to adopt a pragmatic approach by drying legumes and grains very well and also focus attention on the conditions of the food that was being consumed The MCE indicated that in order to achieve food safety, production methods should be devoid of the use of un-recommended agro chemicals, saying that the quality of food consumed by the people depends mainly on the haulage, processing as well as storage and packaging. He disclosed that Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had developed an expanded sanitary inspection and compliance enforcement programmes aimed at reducing sanitary related diseases throughout the country.
Under the programme, Mr. Osei-Antwi said, public health officers would be deployed to visit chop bars and traditional food sellers, slaughter houses and way side food sellers, among others to inspect especially the environment in which they operate.
He advised the farmers to make use of expert advice from the agricultural extension officers for the preservation of the land for sustainable farming.
On this year's general elections, the MCE called on the general public to maintain absolute peace before, during and after the results. Mr. John Manu, Techiman Municipal Director of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, (MOFA) noted that conditions of food the people consumed have strong influence on human resource base of the country, as unhygienic food leads to poor growth, spread of disease and deaths. Mr. Manu said MOFA activities aimed at ensuring safe food an improved nutrition would be emphasized and advised farmers to make use of information technology in farming.
The Deputy Municipal Fire Officer, Mr. Augustine Anane asked farmers to help maintain the ecology by combating the wanton destruction of the forest during the dry season.
In all, 31 farmers, including two physically challenged farmers from Aworowa were honoured for good performance in the area of livestock, cassava, processing, maize, yam, plantain and cocoyam. The overall municipal best farmer award went to Elder Daniel Sekyere, 53 of Nyansuakwa near Offuman.
For his prize, he received 14 inches coloured television, a bicycle, 1 piece full wax print, 5 cutlasses, and a pair of Wellington boots, compost mushroom sachets, a certificate and a badge. Nana Appiah Sakariya of Atea near Nsuta, 50, won the second best Municipal farmer with a prize of foam mattress, 1 pair of Wellington boot, 4 cutlasses, a certificate and a badge.
The third municipal best farmer went to Mr. John Otwey 43, from Tanoanafo and received a bicycle, a pair of Wellington boots, 3 cutlasses, a certificate and a badge.
Nana Opoku Abankwa, Krontihene of the Techiman traditional area, who presided, promised to release enough land for farming activities for increased production.
The overall best farmer, Elder Daniel Sekyere called on the youth to take farming as business, regardless of the scale of production and to keep proper records.