A 37 year old farmer, Mr. Joseph Ayisi Boakye, has been adjudged the 2015 Municipal Best Farmer by the Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA). He won the coveted award during the 11th Municipal Farmers’ Day celebration held at Akporman near Abokobi.
13 farmers were awarded at this year’s Ga East Municipal Farmers’ Day celebration for their hard-work and dedication to farming and agribusiness.
The colourful and impressive ceremony brought together farmers, traditional rulers, Assembly Members, businesses, organizations, staff of the Assembly, religious leaders, students and people within and outside the host community.
Delivering the keynote address, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. John Kwao Sackey, stated that the theme for this year’s celebration, “Transform Ghana: Invest in Agriculture”, couldn’t have come at an appropriate time where rising out of a turbulent period of economic meltdown.
He noted that even though the agriculture sector is widely acclaimed as the mainstay of the economy of Ghana, a lot more needed to be done to realize the significance of the tagging.
The GEMA boss further said “a nation whose people are hungry cannot see transformation of any sort”, calling for more pragmatic steps and concerted efforts.
Citing past agricultural initiatives such as “Operation Feed Yourself (OFY)” and “Eat What We Grow and Grow What We Eat”, Hon. Kwao Sackey lamented the nation’s failure to sustain such initiatives.
“In as much as we have tried in the past and continue in the present, we are yet to reach that height where everybody is happy and we really see agriculture driving the nation forward. A period where there is abundance of food and availability of jobs” he stressed.
He appealed to traditional leaders and landowners to make it a national duty to reserve lands for farming and other agricultural purposes to help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Goals 1 and 2 to end poverty and hunger by the year 2030.
“Agricultural lands are fast giving way to human habitation. Though necessary, our desire and need to live in one’s own abode could spell doom for our existence, not to talk of transformation”, he remarked.
The MCE announced the setting up of a revolving fund to support farmers and youth who want to go into agriculture with a low interest credit facility.
He paid glowing tribute to the hard-working and dedicated farmers in the municipality and pledged that the Assembly would continue to provide the needed support to enhance their performance.
The Municipal Director of Agriculture, Rev. Felix Nii Ayi Hammond expressed delight about the gains being made by farmers in the municipality called for more financial support to to enable them expand and innovate their practices to improve yield.
The Presiding Member, Hon. Nii Anang Ofori, who chaired the occasion, encouraged the farmers to give off their best in the interest of the nation and the municipality in particular. He was hopeful of a better season next year and advised them to look at alternative approaches to increase their yield.
He also appealed to the courts of the land to “be mindful of your decisions which results in the clearing of farmlands and farms for real estate development”.
The 2015 Municipal Best Farmer, Mr. George Ayisi Boakye expressed gratitude to the President for his foresight in helping farmers and making agriculture his priority for the transformation of the country.
He also thanked the Municipal Chief Executive and the Agric Department for their efforts in promoting agriculture in the municipality and promised to consolidate his gains by working harder.
The occasion was graced by the Peace Ambassador, Miss Angela Mensah, who delivered a peace message calling on all Ghanaians to shun all forms of violence before, during after the 2016 general elections.
A pupil of the Kwabenya Municipal Assembly (MA) Junior High School (JHS), Rebecca Arthur, who excelled in the learning of Chinese at the School’s Chinese Learning Centre and honoured thereafter by the Chinese Ambassador, was introduced to the gathering by the Municipal Chief Executive.
By: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman