Mr Ewoenam Yelixoxo, the Ketu South Municipal Overall Best Farmer for 2022, has called on the government to support farmers to ensure a successful farming season in 2023.
He said accessing farm inputs, especially fertiliser, within the year under review was difficult, which prevented most farmers in the municipality from applying the right fertiliser to their crops to increase yield.
Mr Yelixoxo, in his acceptance speech following his award at the 38th Farmers Day, said farmers would appreciate such support to improve yield and ensure food security.
“The 2022 farming season has been a difficult one for us. No fertiliser for our crops. Buying from the open market was very expensive and so a lot of us couldn’t afford it,” he said.
“I got some but because they were woefully inadequate for my farms, I abandoned their use. So I believe that my colleague farmers also survived only by grace.”
“I, therefore, call on the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) and the Member of Parliament (MP) to think about us in the upcoming farming season so we can have good yields to put food on the tables for the people of Ketu South.”
Mr Raphael Tsakpo, a representative of the Municipal Directorate of Agriculture, said the municipality had huge agricultural potentials due to the wide range of crops being produced in the area, coupled with dry season vegetable production.
He appealed to the youth to take advantage of the high water-table along the coast, a great natural water resource, and engage in all-year-round vegetable farming to improve their livelihoods.
Mr Maxwell Koffie Lugudor, MCE for Ketu South, touched on the theme for the 2022 celebration: “Accelerating Agricultural Development through Value Addition” and said the Assembly, through the Agriculture Department, had trained cassava processing groups in communities including Aveshie, Gbedekope and Glitame on value addition.
Same was done with the Nevame Fish Processors who were trained to use anchovies in preparation of pepper sauce (shito), he said.
Mr Lugudor said the Planting for Food and Jobs also yielded some good results but climate change and other factors seemed to be eroding the gains.
He, however, gave the assurance that government would do its best to stabilise the economy.
Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, MP, Ketu South, who provided basins, wire mesh and fishing nets to support farmers in the area, said government should be intentional in providing the needs of the sector to attain the Sustainable Development Goal on reducing hunger.
The celebration, chaired by Torgbui Adamah III, Paramount Chief of Somé Traditional Area, saw four more awardees being recognised.
They were Mr Kofi Abelia, Best Fisherman; Mr Christopher Agbemador, Best Vegetable Farmer (Irrigation); Madam Rejoice Agorgli, Best Livestock Farmer, and Mr George Egblorgbe, Best Crop Farmer.