This year’s National Farmers’ Day would be held on November 2, at Abokobi in the Greater Accra Region.
It is on the theme: “Grow More Food: Strengthening Farmer Based Organisations for Market Place Bargaining Power”.
“The celebration has been brought earlier than the usual first week of December in view of the December 7, general elections, “Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) announced at the launch in Accra on Tuesday.
He said about GH¢3,826,446 representing both material and cash would be required to celebrate the event, explaining that government could only afford GH¢700,000.
“About GH¢3.1 million is required from corporate institutions to organise the event”, the Sector Minister added.
Mr Ahwoi, therefore, asked corporate institutions to come on board to support the celebrations to “make the 28th Farmers’ day celebration a successful one”.
He acknowledged and commended various sponsors of the celebration, particularly, Agriculture Development Bank (ADB), Stanbic Bank, Wienco, Sidalco, Citizen Kofi, Yaara, Chemico, Dizengoff, Cocobod, Agrimat, Bank of Ghana, Ghana Ports and Habours Authority and Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA).
Mr Ahwoi noted that the theme for the celebration was chosen on the background of the threat of marginalisation being imposed by globalised economies, which was ever knocking on the doors of small scale farmers.
He said, in order to survive, there was the need for such farmers and fishermen to become more efficient in value chain management and produce according to market dictates.
Mr Ahwoi said the theme therefore highlight the policy of MOFA to develop and strengthen farmer-based organisations (FBOs) to make them more competitive and enhance their access to both national and international markets.
At the launching, sponsors of 2011 Farmers’ Day celebration were honoured with certificates of appreciation to various institutions in the categories of platinum, gold, silver and bronze.
Nii Amasah Namoale, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, in-charge of Fisheries, who is also Chairman of the 28th National Farmers Day Planning Committee, said the launch marked the beginning of series of well organised events, which would climax in honouring Ghana’s gallant farmers and fishermen.
He explained that the criteria used to select the best farmer and fisherman included diversified and integrated farming operations, which look at the production of livestock and crops and using the residue from one operation to the other.
Another criterion is the scale of operation – small, medium and large acreage of crops, number of livestock reared and surface area of fishponds.
Others are knowledge of husbandry practices, environmental awareness and relevant practices, entrepreneurship, adoption of new technologies and farmers’ role in community.
Alhaji Ibrahim Adam, Board Chairman, ADB, lauded government and other partners, who had worked together over the years to ensure the success of the celebration, which evolved from the time when radio sets were given to award winners “And they were content with that” to currently where bungalows were built for the national best farmer.
He explained that the celebration would still be relevant until a time when Ghana attained food sufficiency and had surplus to export.
Alhaji Adam announced that ADB had increased its annual donation of GH¢100,000 towards the annual event to $100,000 this year to put up the bungalow for the best farmer.