The District Chief Executive (DCE) for West Gonja District, Hon Saeed Jebreel Muhazu has urged farmers in the district to see farming as a business that responds to the economic growth of Ghana and not just for the purposes of farming to feed the household.
Speaking in Busunu to mark this year's farmers day celebration under the theme ''Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture Towards Agribusiness Development'' Hon Muhazu said the agric sector is the engine of growth for the country and very key to the development of Ghana as well as a major source of income for most farmers in the country.
He therefore appealed to farmers in the district to make use of the interventions put in place in the Agriculture sector such as the planting for food, rearing for food and jobs, planting for export etc to restore hopes towards boosting that sector.
He said the period when agriculture was seen as a hobby is over and that much seriousness should be attached to make the sector a serious business sector.
To boost agriculture in the district, Hon. Muhazu said government has allocated 2 tractors, 10 power tillers with accessories, 20 motorised sprayers, 6 maize shellers and 4 engine powered irrigation kits.
He added that there are two main challenges facing farmers in the district with include bush fires and destruction of farms by cattle.
Mr Peter Claver Anyeembey, the District Director of Agriculture for the West Gonja also in an address said the livestock and poultry health care for 2019 saw 2,733 animals vaccinated against various diseases and another 1,185 treated against various diseases.
He disclosed further that over 15,000 farmers have been trained on various technologies covering all the sectors of Agriculture.
"Staffing in the department has seen massive improvement and the district now have over 16 Agriculture extension field staff and they facilitated the registration of farmers to participate in the 2019 planting for food and Jobs program, with a total of 3,380 farmers benefiting during the period. The Agriculture department now have a total staff strength of 28 persons and thanked the West Gonja District Assembly for making sure 11 of the workers of MOFA were given motorbikes that enables them to go into the communities to deliver quality agricultural services to the people.
"The fight against fall army worms, cashew seedlings distribution and plantation, unreliable rainfall pattern, degraded soil, pest and diseases on animals and crops, unlicensed agro-input dealer headache were some of the major challenges the department faced during the period," he emphasised.
A 32-year-old farmer Lange Washiu was crowned as the District Best Farmer.
He took home three pieces of cloth, a tricycle, two wall clocks, Wellington boots, cutlasses, saltlick, eight bags of NPK, radios, pesticides, sewing machines, Ksack, weedicides among others as his price.
Prices ranging from Tricycles, motorbikes, wall clocks, farm inputs etc were given to the awardees to motivate them.
Below are the remaining winners for the awards:
1st Runner Up.... Abubakari Joe Zakaria
2nd Best District Farmer..Yakubu Soaliwu
Best Woman farmer...Helen Akpanaba
Maize Farmer... Duut Tebik
Best Soybean farmer....Zaina Dambol
Cassava Farmer.. Yiliti Tie
Cattle Farmer...Mahmud Issah
Small Small Ruminant Farmer... Iddrisu Mahama
Best Vegetables Farmer...Soale Seidu
Best PFJ Institution... Damongo Agricultural College
Rice Farmer Group.. Buwulonso Rice Group
District Youth Farmer... Baba Atampugri