WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE MUNICIPAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF LEDZOKUKU-KROWOR MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY (LEKMA)

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WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE MUNICIPAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF LEDZOKUKU-KROWOR MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY (LEKMA) HON. DANIEL A. MENSAH, ON THE OCCASION OF THE REGIONAL & MUNICIPAL CELEBRATION OF THE 27TH NATIONAL FARMERS’ DAY HELD ON FRIDAY, 2ND OF DECEMBER, 2011 AT THE NORTHERN CLUSTER OF SCHOOLS, TESHIE

Mr. Chairman
Hon. Regional Minister,
Hon. Presiding Member,
Hon. Members of Parliament
Hon. Assembly Members,
The Chief Director – R.C.C
The Regional Director – MoFA,
Odehe Kpakpa King Odaifio Welentsi III,
-Paramount Chief of Nungua

Nii Ashong Akporh Adjei II,
-Shikitele and Acting Chief of Teshie.

Nii Mei ke Naa Mei,
Heads of Department and Institutions,
Our dedicated Farmers and Fishermen,
Members of the Planning Committee,
Distinguished Guests,
The Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen
1.
Let me on behalf of our traditional leaders and people of the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Assembly warmly welcome you all to this important ceremony which is designed to honour the gallant farmers and fishermen of this country for their immense contribution towards food production, food security and sustainable agriculture.

It is important to recollect that the PNDC Administration instituted the National Farmers’ Day 27 years ago, ie in 1984, in recognition of the great sacrifices made by farmers and fishermen towards nation building. It is therefore, a distinct honour and privilege for LEKMA to be hosting not only the Municipal activities but also the regional Farmers’ Day Celebrations. I wish therefore to express our gratitude to the Hon. Regional Minister and his able Lieutenants for selecting the Municipality for this special occasion. Indeed our gathering here today is due to that singular decision. You are all welcome.

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, the theme for this year’s celebration “Grow More Food –Research for Sustainable Agricultural Development ” is aptly chosen to reflect government’s commitment in addressing simultaneously, the issues of food availability, access to food and sustainable agricultural development all year round especially in the face of increasing population and climate change. The high rate of population increase for instance, demands that more food be produced to correspond to the needs of the people.

However, changes in rainfall pattern due to global warming, coupled with crop failures as a result of diseases and pest incidences have led to low productivity. Inappropriate agricultural land usage and scarcity of farm lands especially in the urban areas, has made crop farmers to cultivate the same piece of land every year without replenishing the soil nutrients.
2.
In addition excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has led to soil and water pollutions thereby destroying beneficial micro and macro organisms.

Mr. Chairman, these challenges are surmountable through the application of appropriate science and technology which is driven by relevant research. It is through research that high yielding disease and pest resistant varieties, drought resistant and early maturing varieties of seeds with long shelf live among others could be developed without compromising on the environment and quality of the produce.
It is however, important to ensure that result of such researches do not end at the researcher’s laboratory but disseminated to the beneficiary farmers for the attainment of the desired results which is increase productivity.

It is therefore worth noting that the government has not reneged on its duties but rather provided the necessary funding and support to the various research institutions in the country to enable them function as mandated.

Mr. Chairman, Honourable Regional Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, the acquisition of hitherto farmlands by estate developers for building and other constructional works threatens to crowd out, particularly crop farmers within the Municipality.

The way forward for us has therefore been to promote drip irrigation where household farmers are encouraged to practice backyard gardening to enable them made the best use of the limited arable lands all year round. We have also been promoting alternative sources of livelihood like grasscutter, rabbit and snail rearing as well as mushroom production.

The Municipality benefited from three projects; cockerel project, Credit- In- Kind Scheme under the Livestock Development Project and Block Farm Project.
3.
A total of 1,040 cockerels were distributed to 102 farmers made up of 60 males and 42 female farmers. Under the Credit –In-Kind Scheme, 208 animals were distributed to seventeen (17) males and four (4) female farmers. A total of 106 farmers were also trained on housing and nutrition, supplementary feeding, disease recognition and control, I2 vaccination, records keeping and livestock farming as a business venture under these projects.

In addition, a total of 183 subsidized fertilizers and other inputs were distributed to 29 farmers under the Block Farm Project. This assistance resulted in the cultivation of 50 acres of maize, 5 acres of onion and 2 acres of tomato.
The Municipal Agriculture Department is currently collaborating with Research Extension Linkage Committees (RELC) to ensure food security through extension of improved technology to farmers to enable them increase productivity per unit area in the Municipality.

Mr. Chairman, fishing which is the main agricultural activity in the Municipality did not fare badly either and I believe it was in recognition of our contribution to this sub-sector that informed the Government’s decision to develop the Teshie landing beach into a fishing harbour. It is common knowledge for instance, that the difficulty associated with the distribution of premix fuel prior to the assumption of office of the NDC Government is now a thing of the past. All the Landing Beach Committees are performing efficiently and profitably.

As an Assembly, we will continue to collaborate with the Chief Fishermen to sanitize and sensitize fishermen on the Fisheries Law and maintenance of environmental sanitation at the beaches and also ensure that there is transparency and fairness in the distribution of premix fuel to the fishermen.
I will like to take this opportunity to assure all and sundry that the Assembly will continue to create the necessary enabling environment for all forms of agricultural
4.
activities and other agro-base industries to thrive and thereby contribute our quota towards a sustainable agricultural development nationwide.

Hon. Chairman, Hon. Regional Minister, M.Ps, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish at this juncture to once again welcome you all to this year’s Regional and Municipal Farmers’ Day Programme.
I also wish to congratulate all the award winners for their outstanding performance in their chosen field of endeavour.
I wish all of us a successful celebration of the 27th National Farmers’ Day.

Long live Ghana,
Long live the gallant Farmers and Fishermen of Ghana
Ayekoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank You

Lotensin

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