General News of Saturday, 8 December 2018
The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Tema says the Planting for Food and Job policy of the Ghana government has increased crop yields in the last two years.
Mr. Felix Mensah Nii Annan-La says, “The government in its effort to boost productivity of farmers, rolled out the planting for food and job initiative, and I am happy to announce that it has started yielding massive results. As a result of this policy, Ghana has begun the export of plantain to Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin and La Cote D’Ivoire.”
The MCE said this on Friday during the Tema Metropolitan celebrations of the 34th Farmers’ Day at Manhean, Tema Newtown.
Mr. Annan-La said this effort of Nana Addo-Danquah Akufo Addo brought into focus Government’s commitment in making the agricultural sector the pivot for achieving the vision of moving Ghana into self-reliance.
He observed that farming in the Tema metropolis had been negatively affected by urbanization and the carving of a new Municipality out of it, “Therefore the need to explore more innovative ways to develop the agricultural sector in Tema and enhance the fishing industry by entering into fish farming.”
He appealed to fishermen to adhere to approved methods of fishing to ensure sustainable fishing throughout the year.
He informed of government’s decision to implement the close season next year to replenish the fish stalk, and therefore called for sustained dialogue among key players in the fisheries sector to ensure smooth implementation of the policy.
“The development of our nation would continue to be in the hands of cherished farmers and fishermen and agricultural extension officers who render invaluable services to our farmers, “he said.
The Tema Metropolitan Director of Agricultural Services, Mrs. Dora Ankrah, said agriculture was one of the significant activities of the country, not only because it fed millions of people, but also because it contributed to Ghana’s overall GDP adding, “It’s the backbone of the Ghanaian economy and vital to our national well-being”.
Mrs. Ankrah said that, “Farming involves hard work and high risk. It is in recognition of this that a day is set aside to honour and appreciate our farmers, fisher-folk and agro processors.
She observed that in an attempt to meet the demands of Ghana and the Tema Metropolis, agricultural activities must be strengthened through supply of seeds at subsidized prices, provision of subsidized fertilizers, free extension services to farmers, market opportunities to farmers and motorable feeder roads to the hinterlands.
“These are imperative to the country’s development because over 70 % of our population are depended on agriculture for their livelihood,” she informed.
This year’s Tema Metropolis Best Farmer Award went to 48-year-old Adam Alhassan who hailed from Tabili, Savelugu in the Northern Region of Ghana.
He cultivates 12 acres of maize, half an acre of okro, two acres each of tomatoes and pepper, 350 trees of plantain, 300 trees of coconut, four acres of Onion and three acres of Ayoyo; he rears 13 sheep, 15 cattle, 20 goats, and 261 local birds. He employs three permanent and 35 casual workers.
He went home with one motor tricycle, two pairs of wellington boots, one bicycle, one wheel barrow, a full piece wax cloth, half box of weedicide, six cutlasses, six pieces of toilet soap, assorted items, one knapsack sprayer and one radio set.
The celebration, which was on the theme, Agriculture, moving Ghana Beyond Aid, was sponsored by Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA), Pioneer Food Cannery Limited, Tema Lube Oil Ltd, Dolphin Fisheries Ltd, Crocodile Matchet, among others.