Ghana’s 2014 National Best Farmer has been commended by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for showing leadership and taking the risk to invest heavily in agriculture at a time when the sector is suffering from under-investment and disinterest.
Every year, thousands of farmers are awarded with a national prize going for the overall best farmer. “Farmers’ Day” was instituted by the Government in 1985 in recognition of the vital role farmers and fishers play in the economy especially the highly commendable output of farmers and fishermen in 1984, (about 30% growth), after the bad agricultural years of 1982 and 1983. The day is celebrated to motivate them to produce more.
The first National Farmers’ Day was celebrated on Friday, December 1986, at Osino in the Eastern Region. The package to the first best farmer was made up of two Machetes, a pair of Wellington boots and a preset radio. Ever since the value of the awards has improved from year to year, moving from bicycle to power tillers to tractors, to pick-ups and presently to a 3-bedroom house since 2002.
Currently, the National Best Farmer Award for 2014 is held by George Asamoah Amankwah of Europe Autoland Limited, Farms Division. George started out as a farmer at the age of 12 while helping out his parents on the family farm. He has been engaged in commercial farming for almost 18 years.
“I have for many years had the vision of becoming an agric industrialist” George says, hence, he had to aggressively pursue the planting of economic trees and a number of cash crops to raise the necessary funding to process produce from his farm as well as create jobs for mainly the youth in his farm location of Derma in the Tano South District of Brong Ahafo Region. The vision is near achievement as the award and recognition has increased his credibility as agri-businessman.
Since winning the award, he has through a breakfast meeting held on the 17th of February, 2015, made his vision known along with plans to assist in organizing farmer associations into a federation. He has also engaged with various stakeholders including researchers, innovators, investors, traditional rulers and entrepreneurs on improving agricultural productivity.
During the second Akwasidae Festival of the year, George Asamoah Amankwah attended to pay homage to the Asantehene and also officially inform the King about his award. The Asantehene used the occasion to bestow commendations on the National Best Farmer for demonstrating exemplary leadership and hardwork. “I’m very proud of my ‘grandson’, George Asamoah Amankwah for emerging as the 2014 National Best Farmer.
Kumasi was built on the back of agriculture and skilled work. However, lots of people have left the agricultural sector, so for George at a relatively young age to consider investing is indeed commendable. I urge all young people in Asanteman to emulate his exemplary leadership and to once again contribute to the development of Asanteman.” He also called on George to mentor young people who have the desire to enter into farming as a business so as to contribute to improving productivity in Ghana’s agriculture.
George and his team are working feverishly to extend farming operation to the northern parts of the country and also role out a plan to mentor youth in agriculture.
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