The 33rd National Farmers' Day (NFD) has been launched under the chairmanship of Hon. Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior.
The theme for this year's event is 'Planting for Food and Jobs'.
The Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who performed the launch ceremony, pledged government's commitment to the development of the agriculture sector.
Mr Osafo Maafo noted, however, that achieving sustainable food security in Ghana within the context of a phenomenal growth in population and increasing unemployment was a challenge to the country's development.
He said in response to the challenge and in an effort to boost productivity, the NPP administration came with a renewed commitment by increasing the budgetary allocation to the sector.
He stressed the need for all to join hands in the retooling and remodelling process to celebrate farmers for their immense contribution to national development.
To that effect, Mr Osafo-Maafo said, a committee, comprising technical experts from relevant national organisations had been tasked to re-model the NFD celebration.
He appealed to strategic partners in the sector, institutions, oil companies, financial institution and corporate entities to donate towards the 2017 NFD event.
The senior Minister assured famers of government's continued commitment to the distribution of agriculture inputs and machinery at a subsidised price to enable farmers and fisher folks increase their production.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture, in his remarks, said the Planting for Food and Jobs Policy, rolled out by the NPP administration was expected to yield a bumper harvest this year.
Dr Akoto said the Ministry was, therefore, mapping out plans to support farmers.
These plans, he said, included the acquisition of 27 warehouses belonging to the Buffer Stock Company to be handed over to the Grains Development Board to encourage private sector participation.
In addition, he said, Farmer groups and stakeholders would also be engaged to ensure that the government policies for the sector were properly carried out to ensure food security.
In a statement, Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister for Aquaculture Development, urged farmers and fishermen to use the upcoming event as a reference point to stay away from the use of bad and illegal fishing methods in a quest to boost the fishing sector, adding that the country's fish stock continued to deplete as a result of bad fishing practices.
Dr Nurah Gyele, Minister of State at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Chairman of the 2017 NFD Planning Committee, announced the award categories with the corresponding benefits sponsors will derive.
Platinum Sponsor: GH¢50,000.00 and above. This category will receive an acknowledgement in the media, advertise company's logo on sponsors' billboard at the durbar for telecast, and advertise company logo in event brochure, plague and special certificate of sponsorship at the Sponsors' Awards Night. The rests are full page colour print company advert with felicitation message to farmers and fishers in the National Farmers' Day brochure, photo opportunity for presentation of packages to the Minister for Food and Agriculture for the media, and branding of some sections of the principal route to and outside perimeter of durbar ground.
Gold sponsor: GH¢50,000.00-30,000.00 will have their company logo advertised in event brochure and a half page colour print company advert with felicitation message to farmers and fishers in the National Farmers Day Brochure.
Silver sponsors: GH¢ 30,000.00 to 10,000.00 will also receive an acknowledgement in the media; advertise company's logo on sponsor's billboard at the durbar ground for telecast, special certificate of sponsorship at the Sponsors' Awards Night and photo opportunity for presentation of packages to the Minister for Food and Agriculture for the media.
Bronze sponsor GH¢10,000.00 and below will receive an acknowledgement in the media, a special certificate of sponsorship at the Sponsors' Awards Night as well as photo opportunity for presentation of packages to the Minister for Food and Agriculture for the media.
Source: ISD (Bagbara Tanko)