Ghana: Congratulations to Farmers and Fishers

4 December 2023

Once again, Ghana has organised another Farmers' Day.

We will always stand by our resolve to applaud all undertakings dedicated to motivating farmers and fishers and thereby improve agriculture in general in the country and the food system in particular.

Our resolve is based on the fact that agriculture is the backbone of the country's economy and farmers and fishers form the pivot of the food system.

To us, the food sector is a very critical area in every economy because it is food that sustains the people to have the energy and strength to contribute their quota to national development in any way possible.

In the light of this, we applaud the government for the successful organisation of the Farmers' Day, with awards given to best farmers at the district, regional and national levels.

We congratulate all the farmers and fishers in the country and extend special congratulations to award winners, particularly 57-year-old Charity Akortia, on emerging the overall best farmer at the 39th edition of the National Farmers' Day, as well as her two runners-up, Theophilus Ezenrane Ackah and Kwaku Yeboah Asumah.

We are particularly elated that the overall national best farmer is a woman, even though this is not the first time a woman is being honoured at the national level.

We can recall that at the 38th awards last year, Madam Yaa Adjeley from the Western Region was declared Ghana's best female farmer and at the 37th National Farmers Day held in Cape Coast in 2021, 37 women were honoured.

Our obsession with female award winners is based on the fact there is hope in survival any sector where females distinguish themselves because they are species that are more loyal to their vocations than men and so can be trusted for that loyalty, their consistency and the desire to survive hard times.

We plead that as women make the effort to operate in the agriculture sector on the commercial scale, they will be given equal assistance as men are, assistance devoid of attempts to exploit their vulnerability in any way.

Regarding the Day itself, we want to say its theme, 'Delivering Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience', as well as speeches delivered at the national, regional and district venues are significant.

We just want to call attention to those by Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Brian Acheampong.

Among other points, Dr Bawumia said the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) was a smart strategy to transform the agriculture value chain of the country, and that it had helped achieve average growth of six per cent from 2017 to 2022, when the figure was 2.9 per cent in 2013.

Providing some statistics to illustrate increases in the production of staples like maize and rice, the Vice President noted that the PFJ had assisted over 1.5 million farmers to increase their yields and that the PFJ had demonstrated the government's unwavering commitment to transform the agriculture sector and place it on a sound footing for accelerated national development.

Coming in, Dr Acheampong said with PFJ, Ghana would be food-secured, self-sufficient and resilient by 2028, stressing that "agriculture cannot continue to be business as usual".

We hope there are recorded plans to achieve improvements in the country's agricultural sector that must not be abandoned by any future political administration but can only be reviewed when necessary.

As an agrarian country, Ghana must continually improve agriculture and motivate players in the sector for the country's sustainable development.

Once again, we congratulate Farmers' Day award winners and other farmers and fishers on their efforts to sustain the country's agriculture, particularly its food system.

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