Mr Salifu Sandow, a 49 year old man from Seog in the Talensi District in the Upper East Region emerged the best District farmer at this year’s Famers Day celebration held in Shega.
He received a tricycle, a pair of wellington boots, two cutlasses, a knapsack sprayer, a bar of key soap, two bags of NPK fertilizer, a bag of Sulfate of Ammonium, a shovel, one pickaxe, half piece of wax print, a radio set and a certificate.
Mr Sandow who is married with 18 children cultivated 40 acres of maize, 10 acres of cowpea, seven acres of soya beans and five acres of groundnuts, raised 17 cattle, 25 sheep, 10 goats, 40 fowls and 120 guinea fowls.
The first runner up, Mr Yidaan Baandi from Datoku took home a motorcycle, a pair of wellington boots, one cutlass, a knapsack sprayer, a bar of key soap, two bags of NPK fertilizer, a shovel, half piece of wax print, a radio set and a certificate.
The second runner, Mr Tuule Sumahme a native of Yameriga was given a live donkey and its cart, a pair of wellington boots, two cutlasses, a knapsack sprayer, a bar of key soap, two bags of NPK fertilizer, a shovel, one pickaxe, half piece of wax print, a radio set and a certificate.
Dr Christopher Boatbil Sormiteyema, Talensi District Chief Executive (DCE) who addressed the farmers acknowledged the contributions of the agriculture sector and said even though the nation did not have the requisite reward for the hard working farmers, their contributions towards ensuring food security and employment generation could not go unnoticed.
The DCE said government was putting in robust and responsive measures to ensure that agriculture continued to play its role in managing hunger and poverty and added that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to hit 4.5 per cent in 2018 from the current 18.5 per cent.
To this end, he said the Planting for Food and jobs initiative which is one of the flagship programmes of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo–Addo, anchored on the provision of seeds, supply of fertilizers, the provision of extension services, marketing and the agriculture and monitoring aims is to engage more youth in modernised agriculture and farming .
Mrs Lantana Osman, Talensi District Director of Agriculture indicated that the district registered 6,314 farmers to benefit from the planting for food and jobs in the 2017 cropping season and stated farmers in the district benefitted from 175 mini bags of maize seed, a bag of sorghum seed, 424 sachets of onion seeds, 4,184 and 2,092 bags of NPK and sulfate of Ammonia fertilizers respectively.
Mrs Osman said the district made available fertilizer under the government subsidy programme to registered input dealers at affordable prices with 694 farmers having access to the service on the open market.
She noted that even though inputs were readily available, only 27.1 per cent of farmers patronised it and called on the farmers in the district to plan their farming activities well in advance to take advantage of the programme.
Sponsors of the farmers day celebration included; the farmer training centre, upper quarry, Naara Rural Bank, Shanzii Mining among other partners.