The West Gonja Municipal Assembly in the Savannah region has on Friday, 3rd December, 2021, marked the 37th Farmers’ Day celebration at Sori No.1 school park in the West Gonja municipality to reward hardworking farmers for their imense contributions to the development of the municipality and Ghana at large under the theme “Planting for food and jobs, consolidating food systems in Ghana”.
The Municipal Agriculture Director, Mr Peter Claver Anyeemby in his welcome address explained that, the theme emphasizes on the enormous contributions of the planting for food and jobs(PFJ) intervention to food systems and the need to sustain the gains.
He added that some of the gains chalked by PFJ include, the strengthening of extension systems in the municipality and has increased the use of improved seeds which has resulted in increased productivity, fertilizer subsidy programme for farmers, commercialization of agriculture, increased poultry production and poultry products among others and that, all the gains mentioned need to be sustained to make the quest for food security and income generation through agriculture a reality.
Mr Peter Claver noted that the people of the West Gonja municipality 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 and explained that this year, the rainfall situation has been better with a volume of 1,262mm which translated in high yields of crops as compared to last year’s annual record volume of 887mm.
The Agric Director further explained that the West Gonja municipal Department of Agriculture has been implementing the flagship programme dubbed; planting for food and jobs since 2017 under which farmers continue to access improved seeds and fertilizers at subsidized prices which has resulted in an increased in production and productivity.
“A total of 8,200 bags out of a projected 15,000 bags of NPK fertilizer were received into the municipality and a total of 26.85 MT of maize seeds were also received of which 851 of the beneficiaries were males and 177 females” Mr Peter Claver said.
On agricultural challenges, the Agriculture Director lamented on how stray cattle are destroying farms which has seen a steep down trend in the production of cassava in the municipality and therefore calling on all stakeholders concern to work together to address the situation.
Mr. Peter Claver concluded by expressing gratitude to partners such as the West Gonja municipal Assembly, Global Affairs Canada, NGOs and the decentralized departments for their invaluable contributions and support towards the development of agriculture in the area.
The Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Musah Karim Kusubari in his address expressed his happiness to be associated with this year’s Farmers’ Day celebration in the municipality which sort to acknowledge the enormous and invaluable efforts of our gallant farmers and fishermen who have kept the wheels of our agro – industries running and feeding the population in this time of sustainable development goals.
Hon. Musah explained that the theme for this year’s celebration was chosen to reinforce the president’s commitment on the planting for food and jobs programme so as to help drive the national economic growth and therefore urging all to heed to the call to enable the country gather the needed foreign exchange to support national development efforts and also build a resilient economy to enhance the living condition of the citizens.
The municipal Chief Executive noted that the NPP government has placed agriculture in it’s forth-front and has demonstrated that through the introduction of planting for food and jobs, rearing for food and jobs and the planting for export and rural development programme which has brought transformation to the agricultural sector from resource based to a technology based industry and the provision of improved seeds, pesticides, fertilizer, machinery and other agricultural inputs which have promoted the growth of cash crops in the in the municipality and Ghana at large .
He advised farmers in the municipality to desist from negative farming practices to safeguard our environment for future generations and called on the traditional Authorities to put in mechanisms to stop bush burning and other activities that further degrade the environment.
Hon. musah congratulated all award winners and all hardworking farmers on the occasion of the 37th Farmers day celebration and commended all those who supported in cash and in kind towards this year’s awards, with specific mention to TREE AID, OLAM, FORTUNE AID LTD and the Hon. member of parliament for Damongo, Samuel Abu Jinapor.
In a closing remark, the chairman for the occasion, Chief Abdullah Ahmed explained that the municipality is blessed with virgin lands which is good for rice production and called on farmers to venture into that sector and also urged the general public to patronize what is grown in the municipality so as to empower the farmers in their agricultural development.
The department of Agric in the west Gonja Municipality this year awarded 17 farmers comprising 12 men and 5 women including two agric officers with Mr. Hermas Sibeko of Rampa Farms winning the overall best farmer award, Mr. Sambian Yenibey first runner up and Mr Abdulai Abdul Salam, 2nd runner up.
The program saw the presence of traditional leaders, political heads, security agencies, heads of departments and other well-known personalities gracing the event at Sor No.1, in the Sori Electoral Area.
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