John Coffie, a 42-year-old farmer from Adaase received the coveted award as the 2019 Municipal Best Farmer at the 35th National Farmers’ Day celebration held at Sanso in Obuasi.
Mr Coffie who is a JHS leaver was given a certificate, tricycle, knapsack spraying machine, cutlasses, cloth and keysoap.
It was a moment of pride for the man who specializes in vegetable production when he was pronounced winner of the highest municipal farmers’ prize.
He attributed his success to hard work, perseverance and the enormous benefits associated with farming.
He encouraged others, especially the youth to develop an interest in agriculture since it is lucrative.
Not sounding complacent, he said, “I have set my sight on winning the National Best Farmer Award so I will not relent on my oars.”
Touching on the challenges farmers in the municipality face, Mr Coffie mentioned the activities of illegal small scale mining commonly known as galamsey.
He said the activities of illegal mining pose danger to water bodies and also destroy farmlands.
He, however, appealed to Government to intensify the fight against illegal mining.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Obuasi, Elijah Adansi-Bonah on his part congratulated farmers in the municipality for their industry and selflessness.
With reference to the theme for this year’s celebration ‘Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture Towards Agribusiness Development', the MCE said the contributions of farmers to the national economy cannot be over-emphasized.
He enumerated the successes chalked by Government through programmes like the Planting For Food and Jobs program, Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) and the Special Poultry Project.
Under Planting for Food and Jobs, he said farm inputs such as maize, rice, tomato and pepper seeds, NPK 15:15:15, Sulphate of Ammonia, Liquid Fertilizer and Organic Granulus have been subsidized for farmers in a bid to entice more of them into farming.
A total of 4, 530 farmers, he said, benefited from the Planting For Food and Jobs program in 2019 alone.
Under the PERD programme, the Obuasi MCE revealed that 15, 000 oil palm seedlings have been distributed to 173 farmers in the municipality whilst 11 people have been selected from the municipality to benefit from the Special Poultry support.
The Municipal Agric Director, Mr Augustine Antwi commended farmers in the municipality for their diligence and hard work.
He praised the Government for the introduction of key intervention programs in the agricultural sector.
He said he was optimistic that the programs will boost agriculture and increase the country’s export earnings.
Nana Bawua Afiamoa Kotokuo II, Sansohene who chaired the occasion added his voice to the call on Government to build more silos for farmers and also buy farm produce from local farmers for Government’s social intervention programs such as the School Feeding.
He praised Government for the plethora of programs in the agric sector. He said the programs are youth-centred so it is imperative for the Government to make the youth aware of the benefits in Agriculture to arouse their interest.
Francis Atta of Binsere and Francis Nsowah of Mamiriwa took home the 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively.
In all, 30 farmers and agric workers were honoured on the day.
Another farmer receiving his award
The former Ashanti Regional Minister, John Alexander Ackon was in attendance as well as representatives of political parties, ex-assembly members, heads of department and the media.