Fifty-nine-year-old Andrew Kwame Amanda, last Friday, emerged the 2021 Kumasi Metro Best Farmer at the Farmers’ Day Forum at Sokobon, near Kumasi.
The theme was: “Planting for Food and Jobs – Consolidating Food Systems in Ghana.”
Mr. Amankwah’s feat comes almost 45 years after he ventured into farming.
He is a native of Asante Akropong and situated his farming activities at Atafuo in the Bantama Sub-Metro area.
He has a piggery, 6,000 layers, five acres of orange, two acres of avocado, and four acres each of maize and cocoyam, also having encouraged 50 people to go into farming.
For his prize, Mr. Amanda took home two knapsack sprayers, five Wellington boots, a foam mattress, wax prints, boxes of Key Soap, and a certificate, besides the ultimate prize of a tricycle.
He has, since, received a wooden sword, the symbol of office from Mohammed Ayoma, last year’s Kumasi Metro Best Farmer.
Other award winners included Opana Farms (Best Poultry Farmer), Kweku Forum (Rice), Ivanboat Enterprise (Best Agro Input Dealer), and Plantain Sellers Association of Kumasi Central Market as Best Marketing Group.
A native of Navrongo, Ibrahim Eliasu, physically challenged, was presented with a mattress, five cutlasses, Wellington boots, a box of Key Soap, and a certificate.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nhyiaeso, Dr. Stephen Amoah, also presented the blind farmer, who is also into rearing 40 goats and 100 fowls, with GH¢2,000 as an incentive.
The Mayor of Kumasi, Sam Pyne, disclosed that a total of 1,869 farmers in the Metropolis had benefited from various training programmes under the Planting for Food and Jobs and Fertiliser Subsidiary programmes, with the view of giving support to farmers to expand their scale of production.
The Mayor also mentioned other interventions by the government in the agricultural sector as “One District, One Warehouse”, “One Village, One Dam (1V1D)”, “One District, One Factory (1D1F)”, and Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD).
The Metro Director of Agriculture, Mr. Amos Korang, encouraged the residents to engage in container farming in their homes as a substitute for backyard gardening, since most of the arable lands in the Metropolis had been taken over by physical development and human activities.
Nana Yaw Boateng, Akwamuhene of Sokoban, representing the Chief of Sokoban, Nana Kofi Brentuo II, presided over the forum.
From Mamponteng in the Kwabre East Municipality, reports; Mr. Daniel Asamoah, a 46-year-old Pastor, was adjudged as the Overall Best Farmer in the Kwabre East Municipality.
He has 15 acres of maize, 15 acres of okro, two acres of cocoyam, two acres of green pepper, 120 boxes of mushrooms, 5 acres of tomatoes, 10 acres of cocoa, 1acre of groundnuts, and other vegetable.
He was awarded a tricycle, wax print, three knapsack sprayers, four Wellington boots, six cutlasses, six weedicides, a radio, and a tin of Milo.
The First Runner Up, Nana Kwadwo Mensah, went home with a double-decker fridge, one bicycle, two knapsack sprayers, three Wellington boots, wax print, a radio, five cutlasses, weedicide, and one tin of Milo.
Addressing the gathering, Nana Opoku Agyemang Bonsu, Chief Executive of Kwabre East Municipal Assembly, challenged the youth, especially the unemployed, to venture into agriculture, irrespective of their level of education.
According to him, the economic gains in agriculture were enough to make an impact in their lives.
The MCE noted that agriculture had become very lucrative through the government’s policies and programmes like Planting for Food and Jobs, subsidised fertilisers for farmers, planting for export, and provision of improved seeds to ensure that the sector absorbs many of the unemployed youth.
Mr. Ransford Nyarko, Municipal Director of Agriculture, explained that the Planting for Food and Jobs programme helped the citizenry during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, through the government’s efforts to support farmers with subsised fertilisers and absorbing that of about 900 farmers who benefitted.
The MCE further announced that as a result of scarcity of arable land, the Assembly intended partnering Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to value their lands for fish farming and encourage rice farming in the Municipality.
Sebastian R. Freiku and Ernest Best Anane