Business News of Friday, 1 December 2017
The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called on government to scrap Farmers’ Day as a public holiday.
The call comes as the nation observes Farmers’ Day today, Friday, 1 December 2017 with a national event to honour farmers in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
Although GAWU wants Farmers Day observed in recognition of the `work and sacrifice by farmers, it is against the holiday observed in farmers’ honour.
In a statement, GAWU said: “The holiday has no significance to farmers. Farmers per the nature of their work do not need a specific day through legislation as holiday. The holiday does not benefit them. Farmers know when to rest and they will do so at their own convenience cognisance of their work demands than per stature or legislation.
“More so, the public holiday does not add or do anything to ease the numerous challenges confronting farmers. Yet the holiday cost the country tens of millions of Ghana cedis loss of productivity. It is GAWU’s request that government should abolish the farmers day holiday and use the money to be generated on that day to support agriculture.
“The Ministry of Agriculture especially the extension services division is in dire need of basic tools and equipment to enable officers deliver basic but vital agronomic services to farmers.
“The Farmers’ Day holiday as it is now, is a deliberate institutional-legislative arrangement that creates loss of productivity to the state without any real or latent benefit. Neither the farmers nor the workers of MOFA and Fisheries who are involved in preparing for the farmers day celebration enjoy the holiday.
What then is the use of the holiday? Whose interest does it serve? Who bear the loss of productivity on that day? How much does the country lose? Is it not possible to avoid this loss? In the quest to improve upon agriculture productivity and create jobs, action must be taken to eliminate both institutional and practical wastage in the sector.
The public holiday is one such huge avoidable loss to the country and should, therefore, be discontinued henceforth”
The first Friday in December has been set aside as a Holiday to honour farmers for their contribution to Ghana’s Economy