The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in collaboration with the Agriculture Development Bank (adb) on Wednesday presented a cash prize of GH¢480,000, equivalent value of $100,000, to the 2018 National Best Farmer.
Held at the conference room of the ministry in Accra, the prize was to serve as a replacement for the traditional three-bedroom house.
At the short ceremony, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture said, the replacement was as a result of contrary views of beneficiaries on the house and asked for its equivalent in funds to invest in their work by buying more agricultural inputs and employ more workers, among others.
Explaining the criteria for the funds disbursement, the sector minister said, a proposal needed to be presented to the bank to justify how the money will be spent.
“In his proposal he indicated that the money would be used to improve the 1000-acre farm at Nyinase near Nkoranza Brong Ahafo and also build a two bedroom farm house, tractor, four Polytanks and also construct mechanised bore holes.
“ Others include the employment of 30 more workers, bulldozing of five acres of land, purchasing of seeds, feeds, medications, the buying of tricycles and the repair of access roads leading to his farm,” he stated.
He said government was proud of farmers for their contribution to the well-being and sustenance of the country, adding that, “Through your efforts, food and revenue are increased and that makes Ghana what she is, thus the need to keep special covenant with the farmers by honouring them to demonstrate how much you are valued”.
Dr John Kofi Mensah, Managing Director of adb in a speech, said the gesture was instituted in 2001 as part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility to the country.
Year after year, he said organisers of the Farmers’ Day seek to improve the celebration by making it dynamic as well as explore ways of making it better; citing that initially, winners were given Wellington boots, radio “akasanoma” among others.
He said adb was committed to ensuring that not only farmers benefitted from their work but the entire country and the bank would provide professional financial advice to farmers and implement strategies to de-risk agriculture.
Mr James Obeng Boateng, the National Best Farmer, thanked the government and adb for the kind gesture, and said it would be a motivation to him and his colleagues as it would attract more people into the sector.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY