General News of Friday, 1 December 2017
Fifty-year-old Philip Kweku Agyemang of Dormaa West in the Brong Ahafo Region has been adjudged national best farmer for 2017.
He was given a cheque for US$100,000 as the grand prize.
Mr Agyemang thanked President Nana Akufo-Addo for his government’s support for the agricultural sector.
Meanwhile, the president has said as part of efforts to promote all-year-round cropping in Ghana, 320 small dams and dugout in 64 districts in the Northern Region have been earmarked to be developed under the One-Village-One-Dam project.
The dam initiative is a campaign promise by the New Patriotic Party, which is meant to boost agriculture in every village in the three regions up north.
Delivering the keynote address at the 33rd Farmers’ Day celebration in Kumasi on 1 December 2017, Mr Akufo-Addo noted that a water transmission project will also begin next year to further boost irrigation for all-year crop production.
He said: “In line with government’s target of promoting all-year-round cropping, preparatory activities are ongoing to implement the One-Village-One-Dam agricultural development agenda. I can report that 320 small dams and dugout sites in 64 districts in the Northern part of the country have been earmarked for development.
“Additionally, 192 will be evaluated in 2018 for development there. A provisional list of 51 dams in Volta, Greater Accra and Central regions have been submitted for consideration and rehabilitation,” the president said, adding: “A water transmission project to distribute water from River Oti [as well as] the Black and White Volta, to communities for productive cultivation, will begin next year and will bring up to 90,000 hectares under irrigation.”
Meanwhile, government has appealed to chiefs to establish their own farms to support the Akufo-Addo government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
The Planting for Food and Jobs programme, according to government, is the solution to the twin problem of migration of the youth to cities in search of non-existent jobs as well as the disgraceful spectacle of Ghana importing foodstuffs from neighbouring countries.
Speaking at the same event, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, called on chiefs to support the initiative by establishing their own farms, thus, one-chief-one-farm.
He noted that he has also made a similar appeal to Ghana’s legislature, all in the attempt to make Ghana self-sufficient in food production.
In his speech, Dr Akoto said: “We at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture are poised for action to provide leadership and technical support and direction to ensure significant achievement for the agricultural sector. Clearly, these are exciting times for the agricultural sector and everything possible will be done to exploit enormous potential the sector presents for accelerated national development.
“Nana Chairman, I invite you all to come on board to support the efforts and the mission of government towards the realisation of this goal and objective. In this respect, I have appeared before the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi to appeal to Nananom to establish their own farms, one-chief-one-farm. I made a similar appeal to Members of Parliament when I appeared before parliament only yesterday…”
According to government, the Planting for Food and Jobs programme is expected to increase the production of maize by 30 per cent; rice by 49 per cent; soybean by 25 per cent; and sorghum by 28 per cent from the current production levels and create 750,000 jobs in both direct and indirect employment.
This year’s National Farmers’ Day celebration is under the theme: ‘Farming for Food and Jobs’.