Jamestown Fisherman adjudged AMA’s 2019 Best Farmer

By
Eunice Hilda Ampomah/Benjamin Adamafio Commey, GNA

Accra, Dec. 6, GNA –
Mr Emmanuel Oblitey, a 45-year old fisherman, resident in the Jamestown
Community, has been adjudged the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s (AMA) 2019 Best
Farmer in Accra.

Mr Oblitey, who owns
a fishing vessel and has eight permanent workers, is able to harvest 300 crates
of fishes a day during the peak season.

He received a
citation, a motorcycle, a television set, sets of cutlass, packs of gloves, and
pairs of Wellington boots.

Mr Oblitey was
awarded for his outstanding performance in his trade as well as general
knowledge in agriculture, environmental consciousness and contribution to the
growth of his community.

The awards were
presented at the AMA’s 2019 Farmers’ durbar, held under the national theme,
“Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture towards Agribusiness Development.”

Mr Benjamin Ahene
Quarcoo, a 40-year old fisherman is the ‘Best Poly Fisherman’; Mr James Kwaku
Prah – the ‘Best Hook and Line Fisherman’; Madam Sarah Quansah – the ‘Best Fish
Processor’; while Mr Ransford Wiafe Danquah is the ‘Best Agro Processor’.

Mr Simon Ayevor, a
63-year old man, was honoured as the ‘Best Backyard Farmer’; Mr Issah
Abdul-Rahman – the ‘Best Crop Farmer’, and Madam Regina Dougblor – the ‘Best
Livestock Farmer’.

The ceremony also
rewarded the “St. Mary’s Senior High School” in Korle-Gonno as the “Best
Institution in Agriculture.”

They received a
variety of prizes, including sprayers, bicycles, cutlasses, Wellington boots,
fertilisers, weedicides, gloves, and nose masks.

Mr Mohammed Adjei
Sowah, the Chief Executive of the AMA, said farmlands were gradually being lost
to developers, who had relocated to Accra, hence the need for the Assembly to
promote backyard farming and livestock rearing.

Proceeds from
backyard farming, he said, supplemented those obtained from the hinterlands and
offered consumers fresh and natural produce, which were healthy.

He said even though
the introduction of the ‘Closed Season’ for artisanal fishing generated protest
from some fishermen, they could, however, attest to the fact that the
initiative helped to replenish the water bodies with fishes and enabled the
farmers to catch larger quantities.

The Chief Executive
announced that Government would commence the construction of the James Town
Fishing Harbour in January 2020, following the completion of the feasibility
study on it.

Dr Charles S. Etse,
the Metropolitan Director of Agriculture, in a welcome address, appealed to
governmental and nongovernmental agencies to help in the establishment of
cottage industries for processing and adding value to food to reduce post-harvest
losses.

This would also
enhance the income of farmers and fishermen.

In an effort to
overcome challenges of loss of fertile farm lands to urbanisation, he said, the
Department of Agriculture had assisted a number of households to cultivate gardens.

“Several inhabitants
are now eating what they have grown themselves in their backyards. The days of
‘Operation Feed Yourself’ are back here with us again in Accra.”

The, therefore,
encouraged those who desired to utilise their backyards productively to contact
the agricultural officers in their areas for technical assistance.

The Amen Amen
Institute, ‘an absolute autonomous institution’ and a partner of the United
Nations, donated GH¢5,000.00 cash and food stuffs to the AMA in support of the
ceremony.

Amen Amenreynolds
Amen, the Founding President of the Institute, said it was the obligation of
every well-meaning citizen to support agriculture as it was the main sector
driving national economic growth.

In an interview with
the Ghana News Agency, Mr Oblitey said a major challenge fishermen faced was
the damage to their fishing gear during strong oceanic currents.

 He, therefore, urged the Government to fast
track the construction of the Jamestown Fishing Harbour to provide protection
for them at such times.

He urged his
contemporaries to adhere to the traditional methods of fishing in order to
control the dwindling fish stock.

GNA

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