The three topmost awards at this year’s National Farmers’ Day celebration in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem municipality of the Western Region were won by female farmers.
The celebration, which was held at Wassa Simpa, was under the theme, “Farming for food and jobs.”
Madam Agnes Baah, 58-year-old farmer from Simpa, emerged the Overall Best farmer. She cultivates cocoa, rubber, cassava, cocoyam, plantain, pepper, sugarcane and rice, and also rears local fowls and ruminants.
For her prize, which was sponsored by Gold Fields Ghana Limited, the best farmer had a deep freezer, mist blower,, knapsack sprayer, sewing machine, full wax print, a wheel barrow, bags of fertilizer, machete, Wellington boots, shovel, mist blower, a certificate, box of water, and a T-shirt.
Madam Elizabeth Awo-Wugah, 65, from Esuom, was adjudged the 1st Runner-up Municipal Best Farmer. She was presented with a number of items sponsored by Anglo Gold Ashanti Iduapriem mine.
The items included a flat screen television set, orthopedic mattress, sewing machine, full wax print, ghetto blaster, plastic chairs, knapsack sprayer, T-shirt and certificate.
Madam Hannah Wilson, 40, from Tamso, was adjudged the 2nd Runner-up Municipal Best Farmer and also took home some handsome prizes.
In all, about 15 hardworking farmers in the municipality were given awards.
In an address, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, Gilbert Kennedy Asmah, noted that the agricultural sector needs modernization to improve productivity.
He asserted that the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy was designed to encourage all citizens to take farming as full or part-time activity.
He disclosed that under the government’s flagship policy, a total of 1,095 farmers had been registered electronically and had received 3,909 bags of fertilizer.
He added that 180 bags of cereal and 163 sachets of vegetables had been received while about 700 farmers had also accessed different facilities under the programme.
Mr Kennedy Asmah pointed out that to create market access the programme had also registered suppliers to distribute farm produce to the public, including the Ghana Prisons, the Ministry of Defence and Ghana Police Service, among others.
He revealed that in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem municipality, a total of about 71.6 hectares of maize were affected by the fall army worms.
Mass Cocoa Spraying
Mr Kennedy Asmah disclosed that the government had redesigned the Cocoa Disease and Pest Control Programme to ensure that it is accessible to majority of farmers to help maximize productivity.
He also indicated that the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) had introduced hand pollination on cocoa farms with the aim of increasing the number of pods per tree at least three fold.
Joseph Nii Tettey Otu, Municipal Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, stressed that agriculture should be capable of supporting the food and industrial raw material needs of the country.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Simpa