The 33rd National Farmers’ Day Celebration was held at the Teshie Cluster of Schools to honour farmers and fisher folks in Teshie and Nungua for their hard work.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE MUNICIPAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE HON. MRS. EVELYN N.A. TWUM-GYAMRAH ON OCASSION OF THE 33RD NATIONAL FARMER’S DAY CELEBRATION HELD AT THE FORECOURTS OF THE TESHIE CLUSTER OF SCHOOLS ON FRIDAY 1ST DECEMBER, 2017
Honourable Members of Parliament for Ledzokuku and Krowor,
The Municipal Coordinating Director,
The Divisional Commander of Police,
Honourable Presiding Member,
Honourable Assembly Members
Nii Mei, Naa Mei,
Heads of Departments,
The Security Agents,
Gallant Farmers and Fisher folks,
Members of the Media,
Distinguished invited Guests,
Staff of the Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Mr. Chairman, I am singularly privileged to address this very important gathering during the occasion of the 33rd National Farmers Day celebration to honour and recognise our Farmers and Fishermen.
Mr. Chairman, permit me to take you down Memory Lane. I remember one Harmattan season thirty-four years ago, the atmosphere was filled with dust blown from the Sahara desert. The sun was partly covered. The weather was hot and dry. To make matters worse smoke from the wildfires that swept through farms and the fields mingled with the dust. This resulted in a food crisis across the nation. Food was in short supply. Some had to live on dried coconut and water. Bread was in short supply so we queued outside the bakery when flour dough was been kneaded to make bread. We queued at the Kenkey factory when the kenkey was on the fire. After a while the Lord heard our cry and sent down rain to water the seeds our gallant farmers had sown resulting in harvest of food crops. We were delivered from the jaws of famine through the bread and fish provided by our farmers.
In respect of above story, National Farmers’ Day was instituted in 1985. The first Friday of the month of December was set aside every year to honour hard working and deserving Farmers and Fisher folks all over the country who toil to put food on our table.
Today marks the 33rd edition of the National Farmer’s Day Celebration. At this juncture, shall we give a standing ovation to our gallant farmers and fisher folks whom we are celebrating today.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the theme for this year’s celebration is: “Farming for Food and Jobs”. The Economy of Ghana as we know depends largely on the success of the agricultural sector. However, the allocation in the national budget to support the sector is inadequate. This, coupled with rapid population growth and increasing unemployment poses a challenge to achieving sustainable food security and the country’s development. The increasing rate at which farm lands are being lost to estate developers is also posing a challenge to food security.
Mr. Chairman, the Government of Ghana is poised to embark on the most comprehensive economic transformation agenda for industrial transformation. This transformation is anchored on the following four thematic areas;
- Macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability;
- Infrastructural development
- Accelerated Industrial Development and
- Agricultural transformation.
The Government has noted that Agricultural transformation is key in the transformational agenda, therefore besides setting the day aside to recognize the country’s hardworking farmers and fisher folks, the Government continues to provide conducive investment environment and support to farmers. Some of the interventions being undertaken by the government include:
- Distribution of agricultural machinery to farmers at subsidized prices,
- Fertilizers and seeds have been subsidized by 50%,
- Provision of inputs on credit to farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs for the production of maize, rice, sorghum, soya beans and vegetables. The vegetables are tomato, pepper and onions.
In the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipality seventeen (17) maize farmers participated in the Planting for Food and Jobs programme. They covered an area of twenty-four (24) acres. The farmers deposited 50% of the total cost of seed maize and fertilizers at the Agricultural Development Bank Teshie Branch. The Recovery rate of inputs given to farmers as at the end of the third quarter averagely stood 45% that is fertilizer 45%, seed maize 86%, tomato seed 20.9% and pepper seed 12%. I will take this opportunity to encourage all beneficiaries to repay for the cost of inputs collected for the sustenance of the programme.
Four (4) farmers cultivated size acres of tomato in the minor season under the Planting for food and jobs programme. We were not able to reach out to the Onions farmers on time because of few challenges. I have tasked the Municipal Director of Agriculture to ensure that in the year 2018, God willing, every farmer who expresses interest in the Planting for Food and Jobs benefits from the programme. New farmers, back-yard gardeners and kitchen gardeners are all entreated to come on board.
Ladies and Gentlemen, other interventions outlined by the Government are;
- Construction of warehouses in many districts,
- One District One Factory to foster agro processing.
These are all aimed at encouraging our farmers and fisher folks to increase productivity in the Agriculture Sector.
In all these, the Fishing sector is not left out. Efforts are being made to ensure that the Fisher folks adhere to Rules and Regulations for good fishing practices for a sustainable fish production. I will entreat you all to desist from all selfish and illegal fishing methods which in the long run harm us all.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Government of Ghana and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) this year rolled out a five – year programme termed “Modernization of Agriculture in Ghana (MAG). This programme is supporting Agriculture Extension Delivery Activities. It is expected to boost Agriculture production and increase Income Levels of Farmers. It will eventually improve living conditions of all Actors along the Value Chain. The three Farmer Based Organization (FBO) in the Municipality, Crop, Poultry and Livestock farmers have attended a series of training programmes run by the Department of Agriculture.
Director of Agriculture, all Agricultural Extension Officers, farmers and fisher folks. –to whom much is given, much is required. It is not business as usual. If you all do not perform well, the little that you have will be taken away and given to another well-performing district. Please, let us all do our best to ensure that this programme is sustained in LEKMA.
I am told that among the criteria for selecting an Award Winner is Farm sanitation. Your farm and surrounding environs must be clean. There should not be any trace of polythene bags and empty containers on the farm. We should all extend this principle of good hygiene into our homes, offices, streets and shore.
Let us all do the right things to keep Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipality clean, Let us help to make Accra the cleanest City in Africa.
I wish to express our sincere gratitude to all Institutions and individuals who faithfully donated towards the celebration of the Farmers Day year after year. God richly bless you. Many thanks again to Donors who have made it again this year.
To our Gallant farmers, fisher folks and all other value chain actors, we say A Y E K O O!!
Mr. Chairman, today also marks an important day on the global calendar, that is, World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day is particularly important, because HIV affects everyone irrespective of age or status. If we allow our farmers and fishermen to be affected by HIV, they would become less productive and we would be left worse off.
This year’s global theme is the Right to Health and Ghana has chosen “the Right to Health: Know your HIV status, seek early treatment” as the national theme. The key message for this period as we observe World AIDS Day is Test and Treat. I encourage each and every one of us gathered here today to get tested for HIV to know your status and seek early treatment if tested HIV positive. This is the only way we can, as a nation, eliminate AIDS by the year 2030 as stipulated by UNAIDS.
In order to secure the needed funds to support our regional HIV and AIDS response, I wish to appeal to the Private Sector and other philanthropists to support us within the context of their corporate social responsibility.
Persons living with HIV are dear to the nation and we will continue to provide them with the necessary care and support and we will work at strengthening NAP+ Ghana and its support groups to reduce new infections among the general and key populations.
God bless you, God bless Ghana. God bless Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipality.
33RD FARMER’S DAY CELEBRATION IN LEKMA
|1||FOOD COMMODITY TRADER (TESHIE LASCALA)||Mr. Francis Atambiri Ayamga|
|2||BUTCHER (MEAT Nungua Market)||Seiba Yakubu|
|3||FOOD COMMODITY TRADER (NUNGUA)||Georgina Nyakoa|
|4||FOOD COMMODITY TRADER (Tsuibleo Tsoenshie & Satellite Market)||Mrs. Forgive Klinogo|
|5||BEST CROP FARMER
|Mr. Addo – Yobo|
|6||BEST LIVESTOCK FARMER
|Mr. Samuel Laryea|
|7||BEST PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED FARMER||Mr. Samedu Musah|
|8||BEST POLI FISHERMAN (TESHIE)
|Samuel Botchewey Adjei|
|9||BEST ALI FISHERMAN (TESHIE)
|10||BEST POLI FISHERMAN (NUNGUA)
|John Agoe Bortey|
|11||BEST ALI FISHERMAN (NUNGUA)
|Ataa Hanson Borketey Opolo|
|12||BEST FISH PROCESSOR (TESHIE)||Rebecca Adjei adjorkor
|13||BEST FISH PROCESSOR (NUNGUA)
|Madam Charlotte Fofo Mensa|
|14||BEST WORKER||Ms. Patience Bruku|
|15.||2ND RUNNER UP ( BEST FARMER)||WO1 Fredrick Kojo Ankrah|
|16.||1ST RUNNER UP (BEST FARMER)||Mr. Afrifa Yeboah|
|17.||OVERALL BEST MUNICIPAL FARMER||Israel Kekaloi