The 2006 national best farmer Alhaji Abdul Salam Akate Bachewii has advised Ghanaians especially people of northern extraction not to forget their root as one’s root forms the basis of real development be it at the individual or national level. They should channel their resources to the socio-cultural, economic and religious development of their communities no matter how rural it is.
Alhaji Akate of Akate Farms dropped out of school in class two (2) at the Nabulo Primary school. The cause of the abrupt end of his education is something that will quiz readers.
He lost his father at a very tender age and had to leave school to support his siblings at Bawiesibelle in the then Sisala district of the Upper West Region in their farming activities. After sober reflections, Alhaji Akate decided that he had to leave in search of greener pastures instead of resigning his fate to tilting the land for his elder brothers in the village.
He therefore took a giant and risky adventure of going away from home. He left the village for southern Ghana in search for a bicycle which was then the dream and burning desire of every young man in the northern half of the country.
His search for a better life landed him in the Ashanti Region, Bekwai to be precise. He engaged in loading cocoa at Bekwai. After working for some time Alhaji Akate opted for a sedentary life of settling down for something worthwhile.
He later found out that he had the passion in animal farming. He went into poultry farming and his initial success in this direction finally endeared him to his newly found vocation. This somehow made him become more stable in the Ashanti Region and gradually won the Metropolitan Best Farmer in the Region.
As fate and hard work took over, he became the Ashanti regional Best farmer and finally crowned it with his grand success as the National Best Farmer award in 2006.
All this while, the 2006 Best National Farmer had made it a life time policy to sponsor children in basic and tertiary institutions from the Sisala East district and other parts of the Upper West Region and needy children across the nation. To this end he has done a lot in giving real meaning to the live of some needy students from the district by seeing to their educational needs. No wonder many of such children have now attained appreciable level of education in the Sisala East District and are contributing effectively towards the development of the area.
Alhaji Abdul Salam’s commitment to his village became very evident when he equipped the Bawiesibelle clinic with solar lamps, fridges, television sets and searchlights to encourage nurses to stay at the village and attend to the health needs of the rural people of his community.
In his quest to assist his people whose main occupation is agriculture, he acquired two tractors and set up a revolving fund for ploughing, and made available fertilizers and animal droppings from his farm in Kumasi and carried them in his articulator trucks to assist farmers in the Bawiesibelle. In 2010 he extended this same facility to the entirety of Sisala land.
To encourage the youth into sporting activities and better exposure, Alhji Akate sponsored the Bawiesibelle Youth Association to a grand Home Coming Sports fiesta , mounted every year, by providing them with jerseys, footballs and awards which has now been institutionalized. All villages in the Sisala land partake in the Home Coming sports fiesta organized annually. The sporting event has been styled in such a manner that there is no winner or loser.
In view of the remote nature of his village, it has now become his habit to use his bulldozers to create feeder road networks for the surrounding villages linking villages such as Kundugu and other adjoining villages. When he started these private initiatives, the district assembly stepped in to complement his efforts. From his personal contribution, he constructs culverts along some feeder roads linking his village and the rest of the surrounding communities.
Alhaji Akate has also provided several boreholes in various communities. Some of these boreholes are automated in order to bring portable drinking water to the doorsteps of the people in his community and beyond.
The most important legacy that Alhaji Akate wants to leave behind and be remembered for is the mosque he put up at Bugubelle.
The mosque has quarters and it’s about half a kilometer square which is believed to be peerless in the entire Upper West Region. The grand mosque has 70 pillars supporting the superstructure which can admit about five thousand people at a time during prayers. With this modest achievement, according to him, he can return to his maker, Allah in the hereafter. The mosque is believed to be the only an ambitious project single handily put up by an individual in Ghana.