Mr Dennis Armah-Frempong, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Agona East, has called on Ghanaians to support the efforts of government to make agriculture attractive and help reduce unemployment in the country.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government has provided some interventions in the agriculture sector such as the Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, among other programmes to create job avenues for the youth.
Mr Armah-Frempong made the call when he addressed farmers at separate Farmers Day ceremonies at Seth Okai and Agona Kwamang in the Central Region.
He said the contribution of agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could not be over emphasised and that with the right policies and adequate budgetary provision, the sector would provide the impetus for rapid industrialisation of the country.
He said the Planting for Food and Jobs programme were anchored on five areas and these include the provision of improved seeds, fertilizers, keen extension services, sustainable marketing strategies and infusion of electronic platform in agriculture.
The DCE said the Agona East District took delivery of 1,517 kilograms of maize seeds, 6,400 grams of tomatoes seeds, 8,500 grams of cabbage seeds and 2,000 grams of cucumber seeds.
He said they have been distributed to 3,000 farmers in the area during the 2018 major farming season.
Mr Armah-Frempong commended the farmers for their hard work, dedication, honesty, selflessness and patriotism to feed the nation and assured them that government would continue to cater for their welfare.
In all, 24 farmers were honoured for their meritorious services to the nation and took home tricycles, wellington boots, pieces of wax prints, cutlasses, mattresses, spraying machines, fridges and bicycles amongst others.
At Seth Okai, in the Agona East District, Mr Patrick Fokuo was adjudged the overall Best Farmer of the District while Mr Darling Mckenzie Armah, an Assemblyman for Agona Nsaba Salem Electoral Area, emerged as the first runner up.
Mr Armah appealed to the government to create land banks to enable the youth to venture into agriculture while creating the enabling environment for farmers to access credit facilities for them to expand their farms to increase production.
He dedicated his award to Professor Kwesi Yankah, the Minister In-charge of Tertiary Education, who supported him financially and technically in his farming activities.
Osabarima Bishop Boapiah Afreyie, the Omanhene of Nsaba Traditional Area, who chaired the function at Seth Okai, expressed gratitude to the farmers for their hard work and urged them not to rest on their oars.
At Agona Kwamang, in the Agona West, 12 farmers received awards with Barimah Kofi Yeboah VII, the chief of Lower Bobbikuma emerging as the Best Farmer.
Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Municipal Chief Executive for Agona West, commended the farmers for their selfless services to the nation assured them that government would continue to roll out policies and programmes that would help them in their agricultural activities.
Mrs Cynthia Morrison, the Member of Parliament for Agona West and the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, lauded the farmers for adhering to advice from the agricultural extension officers, which has helped them to increase for production this year.
She assured them that government would continue to implement useful policies to improve their welfare.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.