Cocoa, which is not a usual cash crop grown in the Upper East was showcased among other variety of food produce in the Nabdam District as part of farmers efforts to introduce innovation and contribute to the food basket in the country.
Notably also among items showcased were millet, maize, groundnut, sorghum, cassava, sweet potato, rice, and beans brought by various farmers to Nangodi, the District’s capital where the 38th farmers day was held under the theme: “Accelerating Agricultural Development through value addition.”
Mr Joseph Adjabui, Nabdam District Director of Department of Agriculture acknowledged the determination by farmers in the district but bemoaned the inadequate support offered to farmers.
He said, “the District for the Past two years has not benefited enough from the much talked about government flagship programme planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) which is anchored on the provision of improved seeds, supply of fertilizers, provision of dedicated extension services, marketing strategy and electronic platform.’
He added that, “Under the provision of improved seeds and subsidised fertilizer, only one input dealer managed to bring into the district 2,000 mini bags of NPK fertilizer and as such, most farmers had to travel to neighboring districts to obtain the PFJ fertilizers which affected their production cost’’.
The Director underscored the need for value addition to improve quality, and added that, the department during the year trained some selected women groups on value addition such as soya beans and orange flesh sweet potato preparation cooking among other recipes.
Ms Agnes Anamoo, District Chief Executive, said the current global crisis resulting in food hikes, calls for new and innovative ways to improve agriculture through value addition to help address food security and unemployment situation in the country.
She noted that, despite the potential of agriculture in contributing to national development, reducing poverty, raising incomes of farmers, and improving food security, the country was yet to explore the full potential of the sector.
She urged the youth and other workers to patronise farming with the target of value addition and said the government was committed to offering support through its flagship PFJ programme.
The District Assembly in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture with support from Cardinal Resources Ghana Limited and Compass Olem Filling Station awarded over ten deserving farmers with various farm inputs.
Mr Bayeta Kiimbey won the overall District best farmer and received a Motor King (Tricycle) and other inputs, Mr Noorin Moses Brethren and Ms Hannah Lardi Bukari won the Crop Best Farmer and Livestock best farmer and was awarded a Motor Bike and a Table top Fridge plus other farm inputs respectively while other winners were Pii Yendoug, best Sorghum farmer, Dok Tii Mary, best rice farmer.