Mr Urias Eshun, a 56-year old farmer of Anyaano on Friday, emerged as the overall best farmer in the Ahanta West Municipality of the Western Region.
He was given a tricycle, tabletop fridge, double bed mattress, knapsack spraying machine, a pair of wellington boots, five pieces of cutlasses, 32” television set, a wax print cloth, and a certificate.
Mr Eshun has 150 acres of plantain, 183 acres of rubber, 10 acres of vegetables, six acres of oil palm, 15 acres of maize, and six cattle among others with 35 casual workers and 10 permanent workers.
Mr Abu Abubakar and Mr Kennedy Nsiah emerged 1st and 2nd runners up respectively while other awards went to Mr John Mensah as Best Cocoa Farmer, Nyameyiekrom Oil Palm Processors Association Best Farmer-Based Organization, Mr Steven Kobina Best in Aquaculture, Madam Constance Okloo Best Agro Processor, and Kwaku Frimpong Best in Tree Crop.
The rests are Mr Steven Krakue Best in Food Crop, Fuseini Iddrissu Best in Livestock, Mr Steven Tawiah Best Marine Farmer, Abease Tumantu MA JHS 1st Cycle School in Agriculture, and Mr Enoch K. Frimpong Best Youth in Agriculture. They all received prizes each.
Mr Emmanuel Ofori Teiko, Ahanta West Municipal Director of Agriculture lauded the efforts of the farmers and said through their hard work they have continued to feed the nation and kept the national economy going.
He said even though the department was on top of its mandate to deliver agricultural services to its clients, there were some challenges and concerns predominantly on agricultural land acquisition and tenure.
He bemoaned that farmers were moving out of the Municipality to neighbouring districts due to the difficulties in accessing land for production and appealed to the chiefs and landowners in the municipality to make available land to farmers, especially the youth who want to go into farming.
The Member of Parliament of the Ahanta West Constituency in the Western Region underscored the importance of the new pension regime for cocoa farmers and the need to take advantage of the scheme to better their lot.
He reiterated that the 2022 Budget has made adequate provision to consolidate the food systems in Ghana through the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative.
He pleaded with those who have made their mind not to go for the COVID-19 vaccine to rescind their decision and go for the jabs without which they cannot access any public place during this yuletide.
He presented a rice threshing machine to be used by the rice farmers in the Municipality for rice production to the Municipal Agric Department and donated a tricycle (aboboyaa) to maize farmers in the Municipality to be used to improve on their farming activities for effective maize production.
Nana Etsen Kofi II, Chief of Aboade Divisional Area in the Ahanta West Municipality (AWMA) lauded the government for the introduction of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative since it has brought a lot of improvement in food production and the lives of farmers in the Municipality.
He also lauded the farmers who in diverse ways and self-sacrifice have worked tirelessly to make sure there was enough food in the Municipality and the nation at large.
Mr Urias Eshun, thanked the government and the Municipal authorities for the award and said he took advantage of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative and challenged himself to work hard to garner the ultimate prize.
He indicated that farming has become a lucrative business now and when managed well would yield results and therefore called on the youth to embrace agriculture as a venture to avoid being unemployed.