MOFA does not influence choice of best farmers-Dr Sagre

A Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Sagre Bambangi says the ministry does not influence the nomination of best farmers’ and fisher folks for awards.

He said the potential award winners were determined by an Independent technical team made up of researchers and academics from four public universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, who assessed the nominees for the awards.

“Some people ignorantly try to lobby for awards but it does not work that way, virtually it is the Independent team that determines the award winners,” he told the Ghanaian Times yesterday.

Dr Bambangi who is the Chairman of the Technical Awards Committee of the National Farmers’ Day He was speaking to the Ghanaian Times against the backdrop of some perception that the ministry may have the say in the choice of the overall best farmer who takes home the equivalent of $100,000 dollars to invest in agriculture. 

About 135 farmers and fishers are scheduled to receive awards at the National Best Farmers’ Awards Day on tomorrow in Techminan , capital of the Bono East Region.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to address the gathering and present the awards on the occasion being held on the theme “Agribusiness Development under COVID-19 -Opportunities and Challenges.” 

Similar honours will be conferred on farmers, who are toiling to put food on the tables of Ghanaians, in all the regional and district capitals.  

He told the Ghanaian Times that the ministry gave out the criteria for the selection of award winners to the Independent body to conduct further evaluation to determine whether they merit the awards.

Dr Sagre mentioned some of the criteria as scale of operations , use of modern technology, transfer of the technology to the farming community in the locality , employment generation and the impact of the farmer or fisher’s activities on society.

He explained that the Agric Intention Officers made recommendations on the best farmers or fishers to District Directorate of Food and Agriculture and then to the Regional Directors to evaluate. 

The deputy minister added that the ministry had submitted the report on the nominees to the Independent body to conduct further assessment and evaluation on the winners for the ultimate prizes.

Top most awards are the Overall National Best Farmer, First runner-up and Second runner-up.  

The National Farmers Day commenced on Monday with an agric show in Techiman to showcase the country’s agriculture products, technologies and innovations.

Dr Sagre appealed to Ghanaians to patronise the agric show and other activities lined for the celebration to network and invest in agriculture production for sustainable development.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

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