8 November 2012

Ghana: Sada Beneficiary Adjudged Best National Maize Farmer

The Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) quest of reducing poverty and improving the lives of people in its operational areas has yielded a success as a beneficiary of SADA agric product was adjudged the National Best Maize Farmer at the just-ended National Farmers' Day Celebration.

The award winner, Nana Owusu Gyimah who is also the Ankobeahene of Atebubu in Brong Ahafo Region participated in the SADA- African Connections Ghana Limited (AC) Maize Producers Project.

This year's celebration was held in Abokobi in the Ga East Municipality of the Greater Accra Region under the theme "Grow More Food: Strengthening Farmer Based Organisations for Market Place Bargaining Power".

In line with the theme of Farmers' Day, SADA's Input Scheme aims to build the capacity of farmer-based organizations (FBOs), increase maize yields and integrate small holders into the market place.

To achieve these objectives, SADA engaged African Connections as a technical service provider to implement the SADA Input Scheme in the Atebubu-Amantin, Sene and Pru Districts of Brong Ahafo.

Nana Owusu Gyimah who is the leader of one of the FBOs with African Connections, as the technical service provider, has over 20 years experience in maize farming but was amazed at his success this year.

Interacting with the members of the boarders of SADA, and management of SADA including the Chief Executive Officer of SADA, Alhaji Gilbert Seidu Iddi, Nana Owusu Gyimah expressed appreciation to SADA and African Connections.

He said the high quality input provided by SADA coupled with AC's training on best farming practices has significantly helped to boost his yields from six bags to 20 bags per acre in the last few months.

Nana Owusu Gyimah stated: "SADA provided me with Pannar 53 maize seed; improved fertilizer and tractors to plough my lands on credit. African Connections on their part also trained me on the planting and fertilizer protocols which I adhered to religiously and the results have been three times more than what I used to produce".

He said his farms have become example in the community and farmers were trooping in daily to praise and learn from him what AC has taught him.

To break the good news that one of the SADA-African Connections farmers had been selected as the National Best Maize Farmer to SADA, an AC team led by its Managing Director, Dr. Ayesha Hakeem introduced Nana Owusu to the Board of Directors for SADA.

Nana Owusu was full of praises to SADA and AC for improving his productivity which played a big role in his achieving this great honour.

Nana however appealed to SADA to provide bulldozers and more tractors to plough and stump tress in his area in order to make more land available to smallholders for maize farming.

The Chief Executive of SADA, Alhaji Gilbert Seidu Iddi commended African Connections for the good work done in improving the productivity levels of smallholder maize farmers in its operational areas.

Alhaji Iddi noted that it was due to African Connections hard work and training on good agricultural practices, that the best maize farmer has been selected from its operational area

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of SADA, Mr. Alhassan Andani on his part congratulated Nana Owusu Gyimah for his award and pledged SADA's continuous support to smallholder farmers in the SADA zones.

"This award is an honour for Nana Gyimah and shows what can be achieved when small holder farmers receive adequate support. SADA is happy to have played a part in this achievement", Mr. Andani added.

In her remarks, the Managing Director of African Connections Ghana Limited, Dr Ayisha Hakeem was happy to add that under the partnership her company provided tractor and agronomy services to Nana Owusu Gyimah and dozens of his colleagues which led to Nana Owusu Gyimah winning the award.

Instructively, the SADA- AC Maize Project is to assist small holder maize farmers in the

Atebubu-Amantin, Sene and Pru Districts with agricultural inputs and technologies to improve their productivity and move them to commercial farming.

The five-year project is being implemented by AC on behalf of SADA. SADA is supporting the project by providing tractors, improved maize seeds and fertilizers while AC is training farmers on improved farming methods, appropriate farm management skills, harvesting and post harvesting and marketing.

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