2012 National Best Farmer deserves the award – Dr Taah

The 2012 National Best Farmer won on merit, Dr Kinsley Taah, Team Leader for the Best Farmer Selection Team said on Tuesday and debunked some media speculation of political favoritism.

The National Best Farmer deserved the award, and was selected based on the criteria set by the team through inspection of all 30 nominated farmers’ enterprise across the 10 regions as well as administration of a structured interview, he said.

Dr Taah, a representative of the School of Agriculture, University of Cape Coast, explained at a press conference in Accra that the National Best Farmer selection was done at three levels, the district, regional and national levels.

He said the district team was asked to investigate and present a list of potential farmers in the district, and the regional team was also to scrutinize and present the final list of three nominees from each region to the national team.

Dr Taah said the selection process was in two phases; the inspection exercise; which was done to verify what farmers had told the selection team, and the interview section; where farmers earned marks for correctly responding to each question.

Dr Taah said during the inspection exercise each selected farmer had to show all his enterprises, including crop farms, beehives, fishpond, and livestock to the team.

He said after the observatory inspection, the team conducted an interview where the farmers showed bio data, diversification of farming operation crops, scale of operation crops, environmental awareness and environmental friendly practice, major farming constrains and innovative solutions.

During the interview session each farmer had to demonstrate his or her record keeping, adoption of improved technologies in crop and animal agriculture, role of farmers in the community, farmers comment on local and national agriculture and general impression of farmer on farms.

Dr Taah said the selection of the finalist was based on collation of the final scores using an excel spreadsheet to compute the mean mark.

The marks is then ranked and the contesting farmer with the highest mean score, followed by the one with the second highest mean score and the third highest mean score were recommended to the ministry, while the highest ranked contesting farmer in each region then become the regional best farmers.

Dr Taah noted that the team did its work without prejudice and to the best of their abilities, saying “the 2012 National Best Farmer went through the process and qualified to win”.

The 2012 National Best Farmer Selection Team consist of acclaimed scholars representing various institutions led by Dr Taah, Dr Frederick Obese, College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, University of  Ghana;  Dr Elias Sowley, Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies, Tamale; and Dr Henry Asumadu, Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Fumesua, Kumasi.

The 2012 National Best Farmer was the 2005 Dangbe West District best rice farmer, 2006 Greater Accra Regional Best rice farmer and 2007 overall district farmer.

Thirty-Eight year old Mr Lemuel Kwashie Martey of Mannah Farms Limited in Accra was on Friday, November 2nd adjudged as the 2012 National Best Farmer.

For his prize, he will have a three-bedroom fully furnished house and a pick-up vehicle.

The 28th edition of the Farmers’ Day celebrations took place at Abokobi in the Ga East District of Accra.

The theme for this year’s Farmers Day was: “Grow more Food: Strengthening Farmer Based Organizations for Market Place Bargaining Power”.

Source: GNA

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