The Savannah region has on Friday, 2nd December, 2022, marked the 38th Farmers’ Day celebration at Murugu in the West Gonja municipality to reward hardworking farmers for their contributions to the development of the region and Ghana.
The region awarded 5 farmers, comprising four (4) men and one (1) woman, who is an agric officer.
Mr. Frank Wilson (Mango City) won the regional best farmer award from North Gonja, the regional best crop farmer went to Mahama Nyunchuboari from the East Gonja municipality, best livestock farmer is Mr. Adam Abukari also from East Gonja municipality.
Mr Mercy Project (Chris Field) won the Savannah Regional best fish farmer from East Gonja whilst the regional best Agric Extension Agent went to Bole district’s, Jacqueline Kawia Savarem.
The best farmer took home a certificate, Tricycle (Motor King), mistblower, two wellington boot, two knapsacks, 4 cutlass and 6 Yara fertilizer bags, best crop farmer went home with a certificate, Tricycle (Motor King), wellington boot , two knapsacks, four cutlass and six Yara fertilizer, the best livestock farmer also had a certificate, Tricycle (Motor King), 4 wellington boot, two cutlass, 2 knapsacks and 6 Yara fertilizer bags
The Regional best fisher went home with four fishing net and twines, life jacket, chest waders, 5 pans, 3 wire mash, 7 fish feed, two ropes, and six bags of Yara fertilizer and the best Agric extension agent was awarded with 50 color TV set, two wellington boot, two knapsacks, two cutlass, certificate and six bags of Yara fertilizer bags
The Savannah Regional Minister Hon. Muhazu Saeed Jibril in his address, emphasized that the department of agriculture has over the years trained a lot of women processing groups and some individuals in the processing of various agricultural produce.
Hon Muhazu Saeed outlined some produce in the various municipalities and district assemblies in the region are being processed into Gari mixed with soya beans, fresh and dried cassava chips for export and local market, paddy rice into milled polished rice, Groundnuts are being processed into paste and oil, Shea nut into Shea butter and many more.
He added that the agricultural development remains a topmost priority of His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo since the rollout and implementation of several flagship programs geared towards increasing productivity of crops and livestock under the planting for food and jobs, Rearing for food and jobs, planting for Export and Rural Department, one district one ware house and the one village one dam.
Hon. Muhazu Saeed Jibril noted that the people in Savannah Region are primarily engaged in agriculture mainly in crop and livestock farming and are endowed with great economic potentials which could be tapped with adequate investment to improve the well-being of the people.
The Minister said Savannah Region since from 2017 to 2021 under planting for food and jobs, has received a total of 295,976 bags of NPK fertilizer, 75,558 bags of Urea, 15, 609 bags of Maize seeds, 13,657 bags of rice seed and 3,447 bags of soya seed were fully subsidized for farmers.
“Government has sunk funds in planting for Export and Rural Development, where 18, 394 farmers have benefited by establishing cashew plantation with 1,424, 525 seedlings distributed and transplanted, with 14,448 ha doing well” he added
The Savannah Regional agricultural director, Alhaji Seidu Suleimana, said the impact of value addition to agriculture products is enormous to generate more foreign exchange, and enhance easy marketing.
Alhaji Seidu Suleimana, explained that planting for food and jobs is a major tool that government is using to reduce unemployment, poverty and food insecurity. However, he said global trends has made prices of farm machinery and inputs costly.
He revealed that government is collaborating with private sector to develop a fertilizer processing factory which is expected to be ready by the beginning of next farming season, this will help reduce the cost of fertilizer to the lowest.
He further noted that the spillage of the bagre dam in the Savannah region has caused severe destruction to farmers along the bagre/white Volta stretch.
Alhaji Sulemana however outlined some challenges facing the sector, making the region invisible in the production of agricultural produce in Ghana, noting that Savannah region has fertile and rich land which could have been the mother land, gateway and the food basket of Ghana.
The destruction of farm lands by Fulani cattle, deforestation, problem of acquiring tractors and harvesting equipment as well as processing machinery, staffing, and high cost of agricultural inputs are some of the challenges affecting farmers in the region.
The Savannah Regional best farmer, Mr. Frank Wilson (Mango city) expressed gratitude to the organizers and sponsors for the recognition and said agriculture is something young graduates should embrace to transform the value chain process whilst they search for white color jobs.
Mr. Frank revealed that there is the need to produce more food at affordable price and supply to local and continental firms. He encouraged farmers to produce quality and standard farm produce to elevate poverty and improve the lives of people in our communities.
“Wining the award is a motivation for me to increase our production, increase our scope and engage more women in our processing chain.
When asked of the challenges as a young farmer by PAD FM 95.1mhz reporter, the regional best farmer Frank Wilson noted that farming is a good thing with it’s challenges of high cost of inputs in this year, availability of fertilizer at the right time, indiscriminate bush burning which made him lost a brand new tractor and over 200 mango plantation farm.
He also called on weather agencies to update farmers in the region on climate changes to aid them know what time to plant a particular crop to enhance good yield.
Source; PAD FM, Gogu Edwin/0555588660