Menzezor (W/R) Nov 30, GNA - Some 19 outstanding farmers were on Friday presented with awards at the seventh Ellembelle District Farmers Day at Menzezor with Mr. Isaac Amo Quando of Nyamebekyere emerging as the overall District Best Farmer.
Mr. Quando was presented with a certificate, a T’shirt, two wellington boots, one full piece of cloth, one sewing machine, three bags of wheat bran, five cutlasses, two knapsack sprayer, one high density mattress, double decker referigator and two bar of key soap.
Other award winners were, Mr. Isaac Somia of Kikam, District Best Poultry Farmer, Mr. Abdul Alhassan of Ayinase, District Best Ruminant Farmer, Mr. John Ndoli of Menzezor, District Best Pig Farmer and Mr. Nuhu Abubakar Khudus of Kamgbunli, District Best Rice Farmer.
The rest were Mr. Nicholas Blay, District Best Marine Fisherman, Mr. Augustine Frimpong of Angagyale, District Best Contact Farmer, Mr. Isaac Owusu of Nyamebekyere, District Best Non-Traditional Crops Farmer, Mr. Maxwell Adamu of Menzezor, District Best Cassava Farmer and Mr. Sylvester Nyanzu of Menzezor, District Best Plantain Farmer.
Madam Grace Honnah whose 92 pig died during the outbreak of Africa Swine Fever in the district received a special award.
They were presented with certificates, T’shirts, spraying machines, cutlasses, among others.
Mr. Daniel Eshun, District Chief Executive, said the Farmers’ Day celebration has been held ahead of schedule because the 30th National Farmers Day would be hosted by the Western Region at Sefwi Wiawso on December 5, 2014.
He said the theme for this year’s celebration “Eating what we grow” is appropriate because the country is witnessing soaring balance of trade deficits due to increasing imports of goods and services as compared to exports.
Mr. Eshun said this leads to reduced foreign exchange earnings for the country and sets serious constraints on the Cedi resulting in its depreciation and rise in inflation as recently witnessed in the country.
He said the theme, therefore, challenges all and sundry to help reverse the negative economic trend by being part of the agricultural production chain.
Mr. Eshun said the greatest tribute that can be paid to farmers is not only to eat what they grow but also help them grow what we eat, because when we eat what they produce locally, we support them to increase their incomes, increase their ability to cater for the needs of their families, expand the local economy and the growth of the national economy.
He appealed to all financial institutions to, as a matter of importance, create agriculture-related products to enable farmers have access to funds for the expansion of their operations.
Mr. Eshun said local food sources provide better nutritional value than some of the imported food items and in view of this the district assembly was collaborating with the Department of Agriculture to link caterers of the School Feeding Programme with local producers for the supply of foodstuffs.
He said during the year under review, the district benefitted from the Model Farm Project of COCOBOD where a total of 3,515 and 3,505 bags of Asaasewura fertilizers were distributed to some selected farmers in Asaasetre and Aiyinase zones respectively.
Mr. Eshun said similarly, each of the two zones received 716 bags of Cocofeed fertilizers for distribution to selected farmers under the project.
He said the District Assembly has placed a request for the creation of Landing Beaches to boost fishing activities but the National Premix Committee has suspended the creation of new Landing Beaches until further notice
Mr. Eshun said the assembly will continue to lobby the appropriate quarters for the project as soon as the suspension was lifted.
He said the Ministry of Finance has given approval for the partial reconstruction of Esiama-Nkroful-Teleku-Bolazo, Teleku-Bokazo-Aiyinase and Teleku-Bokazo-Aniben Junction roads and the procurement process was being done and hopefully, work on the roads will commence in the first quarter of 2015.
Mr. Charles Ekpale, District Director of Agriculture, said a total of 21 technologies on crops, livestock, post -harvest and soil amendment technologies were disseminated to 21,948 farmers during the period under review.
He said about 37.2 per cent of the farmers were females and the department will intensify its efforts at engaging more females in farming through education and advocacy.
Mr. Ekpale said about ten farmers in the district are being helped to multiple a new variety of cassava called Ampong under the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP).