Mr. George Nana Blay Nketsiah, a 59-year-old resident of Ntankoful in the Esikado Ketan constituency has been adjudged the overall best farmer in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.
For his award, he took home a motor tricycle, Knapsack sprayer, five pairs of wellington boots, ten crocodile cutlasses, and a bag of lime.
Mr. Nketsaih, who has 36 years of experience in farming, owns an acre of mango farm, seven acres of cocoa, seven acres of palm nut trees, five acres of coconut, two and a half acres of plantain farm.
He is also into vegetable plantation, animal farms, and as well into the processing of oil palm.
Among the other awardees was Madam Agnes Panford, the best physically challenged farmer who took home eight-inch double bed latex foam, four pairs of wellington boots, half piece wax print, four crocodile cutlasses among others.
Other award winners were Mr Peter Donkor, best marine fisher, Madam Monica Benson, a best enterprising female farmer, and Mr. Emmanuel Domeh, best youth farmer.
In all, 17 farmers were presented with prizes ranging from cutlasses to tricycles in the 37th National Farmers Day celebration.
This year’s celebration is on the theme “Planting for Food and Jobs-Consolidating food systems in Ghana”.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Chief Executive Mr Abdul-Mumin Issah stressed the importance of agriculture and fisheries in ensuring food security and employment and noted that it was not out of place to celebrate the players in those sectors.
He said the Government was committed to putting place the right measures to put agriculture on the path of transformation, hence, the introduction of the PFJ, which was improving the fortunes of the agricultural sector.
He called on the citizenry to embrace the PFJ concept and actively engage in it to reduce the importation of food crops, improve upon the living standards of farmers, food security for households and reduce rural-urban migration.
He said the Government would continue to work closely with the private sector and other development partners to build a resilient food system in the country.
He said the Government would continue to implement policies and programmes to consolidate the gains made under the PFJ to ensure food security in the country.
Mr Daniel Asimenu, Metropolitan Agricultural Director mentioned that agriculture provided direct and indirect employment to 21 percent of the population in the Metropolis.
He added that most of the farmers in the Metropolis were into subsistent farming with a few isolated commercial farms with crops such as cassava, plantain, maize, rice, yam among the major crops grown.
He recounted the impact of the PFJ especially on the welfare of beneficiary farmers in the Metropolis and said many farmers who hitherto could not take care of their families were now able to do so.
The PFJ programme, he said if well implemented, would reduce crops such as rice, maize, and rice importation, improve upon farmer living standards and reduce rural-urban migration through the creation of jobs.
He said though the contribution of agriculture to the country’s GDP had dwindled in recent times, its contribution was still enormous, accounting for about 18.9 percent of GDP.