Julius K. Satsi, GNA
Accra, Nov. 30, GNA - The country will be celebrating our gallant farmers and fisher folks at the 33rd National Farmers’ Day (NFD) celebration at Kumasi in the Ashanti Region to appreciate the significant role they play in the economy.
The 33rd NFD, which would be celebrated under the theme: “Planting for Food and Jobs”, is expected to honour National Best Farmer and several others for their immense contribution to the development of the country.
Prior to the event, many corporate entities have made donations of cash and various agriculture inputs to help support the event and ensure that farmers in the country are motivated to do more.
This year’s NFD was launched in Accra on August 16, where Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister called on strategic partners in the sector, institutions, oil companies, financial institution and corporate entities to donate towards the success of the event.
Mr Osafo Maafo called on the public to join hands in the retooling and remodelling process to celebrate farmers for their immense contribution to national development.
A committee comprising of technical experts from relevant national organisations were tasked to re-model the NFD celebration.
Mr Osafo Marfo assured famers of government’s commitment to the distribution of agriculture inputs and machinery at subsidised prices to enable farmers and fisher folks to increase their production.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture, said the Planting for Food and Jobs policy rolled out by the government was to yield a bumper harvest this year and that the Ministry was mapping out plans to support farmers.
Meanwhile, Madam Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister for Aquaculture Development, appealed to farmers and fisher folks to use the upcoming event as a reference point to stay away from the use of bad and illegal fishing methods in the quest to boost the fishing sector.
Mr Robert Crentsil was adjudged 2016 National Best Farmer at a celebration held on Nov 4 in Kintampo of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Provisional National Defence Council’s government established the NFD in 1985 to recognise significant role farmers and fisher folks played in the economy because of the commendable output of farmers and fisher folks in 1984.
Agriculture has contributed 30 per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product in 1984.
This achievement came after the bad agricultural years of 1982 and 1983, which saw the nation experiencing drought and wild bush fires.
The first NFD was celebrated on the first Friday of December 1986 at Osino in the Eastern Region.
The first best farmer received two machetes, a pair of Wellington boots and a preset radio.
However, the value of the awards has improved from year to year, moving from bicycle, to power tillers, to tractors, pick-ups and to buildings.
The last time the celebration was held in the Ashanti Region was in 2007, which saw Alhaji Abdul Salem Akate emerging as the best farmer and he took away a three bedroom house.