15 November 2012

Ghana: Edem Asomani Is Overall Best Farmer in Tema Metro

Mr. Edem Asomani, a 50-year-old animal scientist, has been adjudged the overall best farmer in the Tema Metropolitan area.

He has over 30,000 birds in his poultry farm, pineapples, pepper, maize, piggery, goats and turkeys, and as well has 25 people as permanent employees.

For his prize, Mr. Asomani received a Luo Jia tricycle, a flat screen television, a refrigerator, assorted agrochemicals, five cutlasses, a pair of wellington boots, a bicycle, a radio set, tuna flakes, bar soaps, a half piece of cloth, and a certificate.

Also, 20 other hard working farmers were honoured for their contributions towards food production in different categories in the Metropolis.

They each received a flat screen television, refrigerator, assorted agrochemicals, five cutlasses, a pair of wellington boots, a bicycle, a radio set, tuna flakes, soap bars, half piece of cloth, and a certificate among other prizes.

This year's best farmers' award was under the theme: "Grow More Food: Strengthening Farmer Based Organizations for Market Place Bargaining Power."

Receiving the award, Mr. Asomani said his vision was to help young Ghanaians who wish to go into farming as a business.

He, therefore, called on the government to help make farming attractive enough for the youth of today by minimising risks, through the provision of grants and long term funding.

Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, was full of praise for the farmers, and appealed to them to cooperate with Extension Officers in their areas of operation to help improve their yield.

He called on Ghanaian farmers to take advantage of a $20 million farming facility under the Urban Poverty Reduction Programme, which had been approved by Parliament, to improve upon their farming activities.

The Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Robert Kempes Ofosuware, noted that his outfit had, in the last two years, provided enormous support, in terms of inputs and funding, to make farming attractive to the farmers.

According to him, the government would continue to implement policies that would strengthen the capacity of farmers in the Tema Metropolis, to ensure that they derived the maximum profit they deserved from their work hard.

He said that over the past two years the TMA had assisted 30 farmers with GH¢10,000 to cultivate 25.5 acres of maize and vegetables, adding, "The Ministry of Food and Agriculture also supported 482 farmers with GH¢156,467 credit, in the form of inputs like seeds, fertiliser, and agrochemicals, to cultivate 574 acres of onion, tomatoes and maize in the metropolis.

"43 fishermen also benefited from allocation of outboard motors at subsidised rates, while 33 others benefitted from the Agriculture Development Bank Scheme and 10 others from MASLOC support."

Nii Adjei Kraku II, Tema Mantse, appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture to set up a scholarship scheme to educate the children of fishermen and farmers in the rural communities across the country.

He suggested that the proposed scholarship scheme should take the form of the one provided for children of cocoa farmers, saying this would help solve the problems of illegal fishing, negative farm practices, and poverty in those communities.

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