FARMERS DAY CELEBRATION HELD ON FRIDAY, 6TH DECEMBER 2013 A

News, Spotlight — December 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

DSC_0853jDSC_0906cKEY NOTE ADDRESS BY THE MUNICIPAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE LEDZOKUKU-KROWOR MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY HON. SETH BADU TAWIAH ON THE OCASSION OF THE 29TH NATIONAL FARMERS DAY CELEBRATION HELD ON FRIDAY, 6TH DECEMBER 2013 AT THE NORTHERN CLUSTER OF SCHOOLS, TESHIE
• Mr. Chairman
• Hon. Presiding Member
• Hon. Members of Parliament
• Hon. Assembly Members
• Nii Mei Ke Naa Mei
• Municipal Director of Agric
• Heads of Departments and Staff of LEKMA
• Our Gallant Farmers and Fishermen
• Members of the Farmers Day Planning Committee
• Distinguished Invited Guests
• Friends from the Media Ladies and Gentlemen
Today marks yet another milestone in the history of our nation as we once again gather to acknowledge our gallant hardworking farmers and fishermen for their meritorious service in contributing to food security and national development.
It is a distinct honour for me to be part of today’s celebration and I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate all who made it possible especially the Farmers’ Day Planning Committee and all our sponsors.
Mr. Chairman, the theme for this year’s celebration “Reducing Post Harvest Loses for Sustainable Food Security and Nutrition” is very significant and relevant to the nation considering the huge post harvest loses Ghana experiences annually.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Hon. Minister for Food and Agriculture stated during the launch of this year’s Farmers’ Day that Ghana experiences annual post harvest loses estimated between 25% to 30% of total its agricultural produce for all staple food crops including maize, rice, cassava, yams, cowpeas, soya beans and beans. This should serve as a wakeup call to all Ghanaians since this loses will definitely have adverse effect on food security in the country.
Mr. Chairman, it is worth noting that compared to the 4.6 million Ghana Cedi allocated to the agricultural sector in the 2013 budget, a very commendable and impressive of 136 million has also been allocated to the sector in the 2014 budget. This action by government is a very bold and wise step indeed to improve agriculture in the country since it stands as one of the main sources on which our dear nation thrives. In fact this is in line with the vision of the government to modernize the agricultural sector to enable it contribute to food security, create employment opportunities and reduce poverty.
The government has also enacted the plant and fertilizer Act 803 (2010) to regulate the agricultural industry and to ensure that farmers and fisher folk have value for their money. In this light a subsidy policy has been developed to make fertilizer available to farmers at fix prices throughout the country. This year the government also introduced seed subsidies to help farmers increase production out puts at low production cost.
The fisheries regulation Legislative Instruments 2010 (L.I.1986) has been launched in various local languages and this seeks to give the fisher folks a better comprehension of the laws and regulations they are to observe. Government is planning to acquire meters to regulate the chemical content of fish to control the use of chemicals such as dynamite and DDT at sea.
Wild taxes on fishing equipments/gadgets such as outboard motors and fishing nets have been removed, there are plans by government to provide insurance for fishermen considering their enterprise is quite risky.
Ladies and gentlemen, the fishing industry in the Municipality has in addition benefitted in the previous years from the supply of pre-mixed fuel and distribution outboard motors, through the collaboration of the Assembly the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, LESDEP and MASLOC.
The Assembly through the efforts of the Presiding Member was able to obtain funding for the construction of a net mending shed at the Nungua London Beach.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the Assembly collaborated with the Agric Department to undertake the following projects:
• During the year, 1,397 homes and farms were made as compared to 1255 in 2012, recording an 11% increase. These visits were made by Agricultural Extension Agents and Municipal Agricultural Officers respectively. During the period, 13 improved agricultural technologies were extended to a total of 2,691 farmers. This consisted of 1,850 males and 841 females.
• Whereas no animals were vaccinated against the PPR disease in 2012 a total of 3,109 animals were vaccinated against Peste de Petit Ruminante (PPR) during this year.
• 734 ruminants were treated against various internal parasites in 2013 compared to 1,478 animals in 2012. The decrease in numbers due to unavailability of funds.
• There has been improvement in surveillance visits while 122 surveillance visits were made in 2013 to various communities in the Municipality to monitor diseases and pests of livestock as 74 visits were made in 2012.
• No deaths were recorded for African Swine fever in 2013 due to the regular sensitization given to pig farmers and the effective disease surveillance system in operation. In 2012 however 26 pigs died from this disease.
• Two training sessions on post harvest management of fruits and vegetables and records keeping was organized for 84 female marketers and fish processors respectively.
• In appreciation towards our farmers this year the number of farmers selected to be awarded has been increased from 16 to 20 this year to motivate our dear farmers and fisherfolks.
• A total of Five Thousand Four Hundred and Fifty Ghana Cedi (GH 5,450.00) was released by the Municipal Assembly to the Agric Department to carry out anti rabies campaign in the Municipality. So far 631 dogs have been vaccinated against the disease and the exercise is ongoing.
• Over the period, 121 canoes were registered and have been embossed.
Mr. Chairman, I must say that even though the Assembly is making much effort to support and encourage agriculture in the Municipality it has come with daunting challenges and these includes:
• Unavailability of storage facilities for our fisher folks. This makes it quite impossible to store fish in large quantities.
• Competition and conflicts between land owners/residents especially with livestock farmers over the use of land.
• The inability of the Assembly to assist with some projects due to financial constrains.
The Assembly in collaboration with the Agric Department is planning to carry out the following projects next year:
• Routine monitoring and supervisory visits to ensure that farmers are adopting Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs).
• Increase competitiveness and enhance integration into domestic and international markets by providing regular market information to improve the distribution of food stuffs and stabilize farm prices.
• Promote livestock and poultry sector development for food security and income generation. This would be made possible by carrying out monthly pests and disease surveillance in the Municipality.
• In order to reduce accidents at sea and promote fisheries developments, the Agric Department plans to sensitize hundred fishermen on the proper use of fishing gears.
• In view of the unavailability of arable land and less space to operate farmers will be encouraged to focus more on alternative livelihood ventures such as mushroom, grass cutter, rabbits and snail farming.
In appreciation of the hard work of our fisher folks and farmers in the Municipality the Assembly is spending a very significant sum on this years’ celebration. I therefore wish to encourage our youth to better themselves by acquiring the requisite skills and technical know-how to venture into agriculture to serve as employment and to ensure the growth of agriculture in our Municipality. Today’s celebration is significant to depict to the youth and especially our dear farmers that hard work truly pays and will always be rewarded.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, invited guests, farmers, fisher folks and agro marketers, on this note I wish to say a big “AYEKOO” to all award winners and to encourage all here involved in agricultural activity to work harder and put in extra efforts in the subsequent years. This recognition is not only to pride yourself but to acknowledge the leadership roles you play in your communities.
Indeed our farmers are truly heroes in spite all the challenges they faced in their line of duty they are able to deliver.
It is our expectation that through your efforts in the coming years Ghana will overcome the challenges of post harvest management. I wish us all a successful celebration.
Long Live Ghana
Long live the gallant Farmers and Fishermen
AYEKOO!!!
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