Mr. Godwin Ndewu from Abutia Kpota, the 2021 best farmer in the Ho West District, has over 85 acres of various crops under cultivation.
The 52-year-old, who has been farming for the past 20 years, currently has 20 acres of maize, ten acres of coconut, 16 acres of rice, 14 acres of cashew, 15 acres of cassava, and seven acres of beams among other crops.
Mr Ndewu who also has goats, pigs, and poultry, and told the GNA that close collaboration with the district agricultural directorate helped identify the best areas for cultivation and best practices.
He received a brand new tricycle, cutlasses, field boots, and a certificate, and advised the youth to consider the prospects of agriculture and seek entry.
Francis Ayisah of Dzolokpuita, who also has some 80 acres under his care, was adjudged runner-up and received a motorbike, and some basic farm implements.
Women farmers, farmer groups, youths in agriculture, PWDs, and local stakeholders including Assembly Members who supported the sector, were also recognized at the event, which is the 37th annual appreciation of the agricultural sector.
Mr Ernest Apau, District Chief Executive (DCE) said winners were being monitored for progress, and urged them to maintain excellence to be able to represent the District regionally and nationally.
The DCE commended farmers in the district for upholding its agricultural progress and urged all to patronize government’s initiatives within the sector, promising that the Assembly would reward them with major equipment including tractors in the near future.
He said rice cultivation in the District was on the increase with shares in external markets also rising, and encouraged the youth to leverage on the prospects of yam cultivation, which also stood high in the area.
Mr Apau added that a district agricultural center was under consideration to provide machinery and other support for farmers.
He said human activity continued to affect water bodies in the District; therefore all must support tree-planting initiatives to help save them.
Mr Seth Rashid Asuo, District Director of Agriculture, also commended farmers for putting out their best this year through battles with unpredictable weather, poor soil fertility, pests and diseases, and rising costs of input.
He reported that 16,452 farmers benefited from the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs, while 8,453 have registered for the Planting for Export and Rural Development, with thousands of citrus, coconut, and cashew seedlings given out.
The Director said over 30,000 cocoa seedlings were also distributed, adding that the adoption of the Assembly’s One Electoral Area One Nursery greatly enhanced the tree crop initiatives.
He said the livestock components also flourished and were also being supported by a livestock improvement program of the department.
Mr Asuo noted that local availability of fertilizers and other inputs threatened farmers during the year, and appealed to Investors to open input shops across the District.
Togbega Adai Korsi Dzani VIII Paramount Chief of Awudome who chaired the celebration, called for the prioritisation of animal farming also, saying it remained a lucrative sector that could boost the economy of the District.
This year’s Farmer’s Day celebration is on the theme “Consolidating Food Systems in Ghana”, and the event in the Ho West District featured produce of farmers and food processors.