The 35th edition of National Farmers’ Day launched in Accra

By Kodjo Adams/Benjamin Adamafio Commey, GNA

Accra, Sept. 11, GNA — The 35th Edition of
the National Farmers’ Day has been launched in Accra with an assurance from
government on reaping more benefits from the numerous interventions and
initiatives in the sector.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food
and Agriculture, said the bumper harvest recorded by farmers last year was
evident of the strides initiated by government for the sector.

This year’s event would be held under the
theme: “Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture towards Agribusiness Development”.

“The bumper harvest recorded last year is a
clear example and not a mere coincidence as some will believe. It was indeed
the dividend of the Food Crop Module, the first to be rolled out under the
Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ),” he said.

Dr Afriyie Akoto said government and for
that matter the Ministry’s strategy has always been to build capacity on all
fronts to enhance the adoption of technologies to boost food production and
expand the raw material base for industries.

This, he said, was apparent with the
construction of 30 warehouses across the country, each with a 1,000 metric
tonnes capacity to ensure stability in prices of food and guaranteed farmer
incomes.

He said other achievements within the space
of two and half years include the procurement of hand-held equipment and other
farm machinery to ensure production efficiency at the farm level and reduce
drudgery of small holder farmers.

Touching on plans to enroll the youth into
the sector, the Minister said, the Ministry through its Greenhouse initiative
has established training centres at Dawhenya, Akomadan and Kasoa to equip the
youth with modern technological skills to encourage the production of
vegetables.

The intervention, he said, was aimed at
promoting vegetable production and youth entrepreneurship with prospects of
high earning incomes through the export of vegetables.

“It will also help to attain
self-sufficiency in vegetable production and reduce importation with its
adverse effect on the country’s balance of payment,” he said.

He said ultimately the promotion of
Greenhouse technology would give meaning to the agenda of commercializing and
transforming agriculture into a modern and competitive enterprise.

Mr Francis Ato Codjoe, Deputy Minister of
Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD), called for a paradigm shift that
would ensure that the sector moved from its current subsistence and
supply-driven approach to a business-centred and demand-driven one.

He said this would ensure an improvement in
employment, increment in household incomes, facilitate rural development as
well as ensure national food security.

The Minister said the Fisheries Ministry
would continue to implement policies and strategies that would not only
transform the sector but also improve the capacity of Small Scale fishers.

The Farmers Day celebration, which was
introduced by the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC)
government in 1985, is aimed at recognising the vital role played by farmers
and fishers in the country’s economy.

GNA

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