Some 22 outstanding farmers were on Friday, December 6, 2019 honoured by Jomoro Municipal Assembly.
They were presented with prizes at the 35th National Farmers' Day celebration at New Ankasa, a farming community in Jomoro Municipality of Western Region.
Mr. Kwame Seidu, 52, of New Ankasa emerged the Overall Municipal Best Farmer.
Mr. Seidu was given a tricycle (Aboboyaa), a certificate, a tabletop fridge, a standing fun, a spraying machine, a piece of cloth, a wall clock, a wellington boot and eight cutlasses.
He owns 100 acres of rubber plantation, seven acres of coconut plantation, two acres of oil palm plantation, three acres of cassava farm, six acres of maize farm, one acre of rice farm, one acre of garden eggs, a half acre of groundnut farm, a half acre of cocoyam farm, five acres of plantain.
The rest are one acre of okro farm, 42 sheep, 200 cockerels, one fish pond, 60 local birds, 100 moulds of yam, one acre of ginger farm, a half acre of taro and one acre of pepper farm.
The first runner-up is a 55-year-old Mrs. Mary Adoboli from Tweako Navrongo.
She received a certificate, eight cutlasses, three t-shirts, one piece of cloth, a half packet of aluminum roofing sheet, one spraying machine, one tabletop fridge, one wall clock and one standing fun.
Mrs. Adoboli also owns 12 acres of cocoa plantation, 6 acres of coconut plantation, 3 acres of cassava farm, 1 acre of plantain farm, a half acre of pepper farm, a half acre of okro farm, a half acre of Bambara beans, a half acre of sweet potato, a half acre of groundnut, a half acre of garden eggs.
The rest are; 36 local birds, 120 agro forest trees, 40 ducks, 72 snails, 28 guinea fowls, 5 bee hives and 2 fish ponds.
Mrs. Paulina Nyanzu who is forty-two (42) years of age and hails from Elubo-Mangose was adjudged the best Second Runner-Up.
She was honoured with a certificate, eight cutlasses, one spraying machine, a table top fridge, one piece of cloth, one wellington boot, three t-shirts, one sewing machine, a wall clock and ten pieces of aluminium roofing sheet.
The Western Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Francis Ndede Siah presented an amount of Ghc1,000 to the second runner-up, Mrs. Mary Adoboli.
She owns 500 layers, 1,000 cockerels, 250 broilers, 62 sheep, 1 fish pond, 8 acres of oil palm plantation, 4 acres of coconut plantation, 2 acres of plantain, 4 acres of cassava farm, 2 acres of maize farm, a half acre of garden eggs farm, a half acre of ginger farm, a half acre of okro farm, a half acre of pepper and 24 acres of rubber plantation.
A 33-year-old Gifty Agbenyo from Tikobo No.1 Kpokezo was adjudged the Best Youth Farmer.
She owns 6 acres of oil palm plantation, 4 acres of cassava farm, a half acre of tomato farm, a half acre of pepper farm, a half acre of plantain, a half acre of cocoyam, 24 rabbits and 42 local fowls.
Miss Gifty Agbenyo received a certificate, three cutlasses, one wellington boot, three t-shirts, one sewing machine, one piece of cloth, one wall clock and one table top fridge.
Other award winners were; Mr. Banse Yakubu, Municipal Best Cocoa Farmer, Mr. Christian Kukua, Municipal Best Fisherman, Mr. Isaac Kwamena Mensah, Municipal Best Agriculture Extension Officer, Mr. Francis Kpanyi, Municipal Best Aquaculture, Mrs. Felicia Brehunu, the Best Technology Adoptor, Mrs. Rita Ampah, the Municipal Best Poultry Farmer, Mrs. Ajara Ibrahim, the Municipal Best Small Ruminant Farmer, Mrs. Comfort Abugri, the Municipal Best Market Informer, Mrs. Cecilia Benle, the Municipal Best Farmer for Planting for Food and Jobs.
The rest were; Mr. Alhaji Dauda Bille, the Municipal Best Cassava Farmer, Mr. Joseph Essah, the Municipal Best Agro Processor, Mr. Dominic Appiah, the Municipal Best Piggery Farmer, Mr. Paul Osei, the Municipal Best Plantain Farmer, Mrs. Agnes Akwaboah, the Municipal Best Cereal Farmer, Mr. Akesseh Elleam, the Municipal Best Vegetable Farmer and the Best Institution went to Half Assini Senior High School (HASCO)
Speaking at the colourful ceremony, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Ernest Kofie acknowledged the foresight and vision of the founding fathers of the country for putting aside the first Friday of every December to celebrate and honour gallant farmers and fisherfolks.
He noted that "Apart from mining and the service sector, statistics show that Agriculture is one major foreign exchange earner of this country contributing significantly to our development since independence. It is in the light of this tremendous contribution of our farmers to the socio-economic growth of this country that I see, this ceremony to honour and award our gallant farmers befitting and worth celebrating".
The MCE indicated that the theme for the celebration was very significant, adding that the government of the day was investing heavily in the agriculture and agro-processing sector in order to enhance agriculture business.
"Ghana has the competitive advantage of using Agriculture as a tool for the transformation of the national economy. This is because, the climate conditions in most parts of the country supported the production of non-traditional cash crop such as rice, vegetables, and fruits, among others better than other countries. This means that, through increased production and value chain enhancement, Agriculture can lead to increase in foreign exchange, improving the country's resources and ensure a stable economy," he intimated.
He disclosed that Government and MMDAs were currently undertaking several programmes aimed at modernising and improving agricultural production and productivity in the area.
He touted the Planting for Export and Rural Development programme as contributing significantly to agricultural production. The MCE indicated that under the programme, the Assembly has raised 10,000 coconut seedlings and supplied to 72 farmers. The Assembly in 2018 and 2019 distributed 150,000 cocoa seedlings free of charge to cocoa farmers.
He promised to continue to support farmers in the area and urged them to embrace the programme.
The Municipal Director of Agriculture, Mr. Edward Addo said under the Government's flagship programme "Planting for Food and Jobs", 297 farmers participated in the programme in 2017.
He added that the number increased from 297 to 510 in 2018.
He continued that a total number of 740 farmers have been registered so far under the programme this year, which is made up of 430 males and 330 females.
He therefore seized the opportunity to appeal to some benevolent institutions to assist the Department renovate the staff quarters at Bonyere, Mpataba and Elubo.
He also appealed for a new staff quarters to be built at Coco Town, New Town, Tikobo No.2 and Half Assini.
On his part, the Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Paul Essien commended farmers across the country for contributing to food security in Ghana.
He admitted that Ghanaian farmers deserved more recognition and pledged to support farmers in his area.
He commended President Akufo-Addo for putting up so many agricultural programmes to support farmers.
"For the first time in the history of Ghana, the country did not import maize into the country", the MP stated.
He assured the cocoa farmers who gathered at the event that next year in October, Government would increase the price of cocoa.
The MP bemoaned how cocoa farmers also struggle to send their cocoa beans to Ellembelle District because the Jomoro Municipality doesn't have a Cocoa Depot.
In this regard, he promised to construct a Cocoa Depot in the area before the end of 2020.
He, therefore used the charged atmosphere to urge the youth in the country to go into Agriculture.
He said the youth should see agriculture as a prestigious sector that could eradicate poverty.
The 35th Farmers' Day celebration held in the Jomoro Municipality was under the theme, "Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture towards Agribusiness Development".