The Ministries of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) have jointly launched the 37th edition of the National Farmers’ Day awards ceremony in Accra yesterday.
To be held at a yet-to-be-determined venue in the Central Region on December 3, the annual ceremony, as usual, is going to be used to recognise the contribution of farmers and fishermen to the economy this year.
The National Farmers’ Day was instituted by Jerry John Rawlings-led Provisional National Defence Council in 1985 and has since been observed every first Friday of every December to recognise the contribution of farmers following the 1983 famine.
Launching the ceremony, Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, urged the government to highlight the opportunities in the agriculture sector to attract the youth.
“What we must appreciate is that agriculture has moved from being a subsistence activity to a more commercial enterprise with greater returns awaiting those who are bold to venture into it with business orientation,” the traditional ruler said.
According to him, agribusiness is developing rapidly on the back of technology and that it was a sad view of the youth that employment is only when one gets engaged in an office environment.
“This fallacy has to be corrected based on current global trend and the reality confronting us. I, therefore, urge the government and the private sector to push this agenda aggressively by highlighting the opportunities and creating the enabling environment to get the youth attracted to agriculture as a source of livelihood,” the Council of State chairman said.
He commended farmers and fishermen for living above the coronavirus pandemic disruption to the farming season and continuously putting food on the table of Ghanaians at a time the immune system was most important in combating the disease.
The Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, in his address, dismissed what he said were reports of a likely food shortage next year.
“There is going to be abundance of food next year. We are going to have bumper harvest, having pumped about GH¢1 billion in fertiliser subsidy for the year 2021,” he assured.
Dr Akoto assured farmers that they would remain a priority in the government’s quest to catalyse the modernisation of agriculture to boost Ghana’s economic and social development.
Deputy Minister of FAD, Moses Anim, assured the public of his outfit’s resolve to sanitise the fisheries sector.
Mr Anim, MP, Trobu, said the ministry would create the conducive environment with the necessary infrastructure to improve the fishing sector.
Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan, said the region was ready to host the rest of Ghana for this year’s Farmers’ Day to make it memorable.