A 42-year old Muhammed Awal Charley was on Friday adjudged the overall best farmer of the Adentan Municipality in Accra.
For his prize, he received a tricycle, knapsack, a gas cylinder, cutlasses, agro-chemicals and GH¢500 worth of insurance from Millennium Insurance.
Speaking at the ceremony, an Agricultural Economist, Dr Mrs Irene. S. Egyir, said agriculture should provide enough food such that Ghana's dependence on food aid and imports would be very limited.
She said it should be able to provide enough jobs through its value chains for Ghanaians both young and old, men and women.
This, according to her, would help save indigenous capital for investments and corporate and income taxes paid would contribute to infrastructure development adding that "Ghana will not look up to foreign aid and grants for construction of key facilities such as irrigation, warehouses, schools, hospitals and roads among others."
Mrs Egyir explained that the theme, "Agriculture moving Ghana beyond aid," meant that Ghana should supply the quality products that can be processed and exported to earn the foreign exchange needed to support imports of essential commodities such as, Information Technology equipment, cars and other machines."
She therefore urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to take seriously the tenets of the Food and Agricultural Sector Development Policy (FASDEP) to improved institutional coordination.
She stated that there should be a deliberate change in how the core actors think about agriculture adding that the farmer and the fisherman should be well-trained business in exploring opportunities offered by science and technology to improve productivity, harvesting, storage, packaging and customer relations.
"There should be a deliberate change in how government agencies that support agriculture work and private sector institutions in finance should embrace digitisation to communicate and provide timely information to actors in the agricultural value chain," she added.
She indicated that municipalities such as Adentan that are largely urban, with pockets of rural and have no large fields but small plots for vegetables, livestock and aquaculture should localise the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda saying that scientists have come up with a lot of solutions that are yet to be explored and adopted by the farmers and processors in the municipality.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Daniel A. Nii-Noi Aduamuah, said the approach to agriculture was not business-like hence the 'Planting for food and jobs' policy initiative by the government.
He said the government was modernising agriculture to increase yields adding that there was money in agriculture for which all players in the sub-sector could benefit.
Mr Aduamuah therefore called on all players in agriculture to get involved to help realise the aim of government's policy.