By Alfred Adams
This year Farmers Day celebration in the Ellembelle District was held at Asasetre. Interestingly, the overall District Best Farmer was selected from Baseke in the Aiyinase North District, where the poor state of the road has completely cut it off from the commercial town, Essiama.
The poor state of the road to Aiyinase North has led to many farm produce, specifically cocoa, remaining stuck in the place for periods of time.
It is on record that before one gets to the aforementioned place, one would have to pass through Tarkwa Nsuaem, then to Bogoso, Asankragwa, to eventually touching down at Aiyinase North. For this reason, when the best farmer was eventually pronounced to come from Baseke in Aiyinase North, it was a shock to many of the guests the function.
The Best Famer, Rev. Peter Kwame Anning, who has to his credit a 135-acre cocoa farm, two-acre vegetable farm, and three-acre Teak farm, took home a television set, one packet of aluminum sheets, a bicycle, machetes and a sewing machine among others, as his award.
The Overall Marine Fishermen also went to Nana Kofi Esuon, who also took home certificates, and other items, including an amount of GH¢200, which was sponsored for by the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah.
Addressing the occasion on the theme ‘Grow More Food’, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ellembelle, Mr. Daniel K. Eshun, noted that “there is dignity in farming. This is because, the enormous contribution farmers have over the years made to the total development of the District, and the country as a whole, could not be overlooked.”
It was for this reason that the government instituted the National Farmer’s Day Awards to recognise the contribution of the farmer to the development of the country.
The DCE pointed out that having recognised the contribution of the farmers to the development of the District, the Assembly would make every effort to provide the rural areas with social amenities to aid them in their farming activities.
He said the Assembly was aware of the economic constraints facing farmers, and was committed to liaise with development partners and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for the betterment of farmers.
He therefore, advised the farmers to form cooperatives in order to attract assistance from financial and non financial institutions. In that direction, DCE Eshun underscored the need for the banking institutions to revise their assistance package to farmers, to enable them receive credits at lower interest rates.
He pointed out that many banks were discouraged from offering loans to farmers, on grounds that the loans would be diverted into income generating activities, and other businesses.
The District Director of Agriculture, Mr. Charles Ekpale, announced that the District was benefiting from the Inland Rice Development projects of the Ministry.
As a result, a total of 85 acres of land had been developed, and it was expected that about 10,200 mini bags of paddy rice would be produced.
Feasibility studies, according to the District Agriculture Director, had also been initiated by the MP of the area, to revamp as well the Kikam Rice Irrigation site.
The Best Farmer, Rev. Peter Anning who was elated with his prize, thanked the government for recognising farmers as a part of national development.
He said he never dreamt he would be selected as Best Farmer, but when God wills it, no one can overturn it. As a result, he was grateful to God for the honour.