Obuasi, Dec. 2, GNA - Twenty-five farmers and organizations were on Friday honoured for their contributions towards the development of agriculture in the Ashanti Region at the Regional Farmers' Day held at Obuasi. Mr Clifford Boateng, a 48-year-old farmer at Kuntanase in the Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma District was adjudged the Best Regional Farmer, whilst the regional best cocoa farmer award went to Mr Samuel Awuni of Samfifre in the Ahafo-Ano North District.
Mr Nicholas Amegbor of Kwasi-Ani Nkwanta-Anyinamso in the Atwima-Nwabiagya District took the regional best coffee farmer award with Madam Florence Boakye of New Edubiase in the Adansi South District taking home the best regional agricultural inputs dealer. For their prizes, the regional best farmer took home a cornmill machine, sewing machine, ghetto blaster, spraying machine, six cutlasses, Wellington boots and a certificate. Other award winners, who were given knapsack spraying machine, 12 yards of waxprint each, bicycles, Mitsui cassette players, Wellington boots and certificates included the Tepa Secondary School, TIG Farms at Hemang in the Kwabre District and Mr Kwaku Sarpong of Tanodumase in the Afigya-Sekyere District, who was adjudged the regional physically challenged best farmer.
Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, the Ashanti Regional Minister, noted that notwithstanding government's efforts at assisting farmers, they were still confronted with a number of problems among which were unfavourable land tenure system, diseases and pests attacks, high interest rate and high cost of inputs. "These may continue to impact negatively on farming activities. These are the challenges all stakeholders should confront", he said. Mr Boafo stressed the need for all stakeholders to join hands with the government to modernize agriculture in order to move majority of the people from abject poverty.
The Regional Minister announced that the government through Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) would continue to initiate pragmatic policies and programmes, and vigorously pursue irrigation and other activities to promote agriculture in the country.