Mr. Emmanuel Addo Adelah from Tsopoli was adjudged this year’s Overall Best Farmer in the Ningo Prampram District during the days District Farmers Day Celebration held in Dawhenya.
THe owns large acres of water melon farm, pepper, maize, tomatoes, okra, cassava, pumpkin, beans among others, he also boasts of livestock such as cattle, turkey, guinea fowl, fish ponds consisting of tilapia and catfish.
For his award Mr. Emmanuel Adela took home a double door refrigerator, watering cans, wellington boot, sprayers, agrochemicals, certificate and the bragging right of the 2023 District Best Farmer.
The Chairman for the occasion Asafoatse Nene Ayiku Tottimeh IV who represented the Paramount Chief of the Prampram Traditional Area noted with delight the effort the Assembly has made to organize this year’s programme, he acknowledged the beautiful display of fresh farm produce at the occasion, such as brown rice, water melon, cassava, sorghum, okra and others, he encouraged all present to engage in backyard farming to increase the district crop production levels.
The District Chief Executive Hon. Al-latiff Tetteh Amanor in an address said the district has an advantage of a vast fertile land for farming as well as favorable conditions for livestock breeding, the Assembly he added is also blessed with a wide length of shore line at the beach, accordingly there was the need to adopt measures to ensure that smart solutions towards sustainable food security is maintained at all times.
He encouraged the farmers to adopt modern approaches to the entire agricultural practices to enhance efficiency and productivity.
He called on all to embrace farming, as a full time job, noting that there was the need for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to take a holistic look at the situation and roll out innovative and attractive policies to entice young graduates to take to farming and engage in businesses within the agricultural landscape as full time occupation.
He added that farming in the District is being challenged by the activities of sand winning, according to him, he is currently working in collaboration with the Minerals Commission and the District Police Command to put in place some measures to streamline the entire sand and gravel winning activities in the district.
According to him, responsible mining of sand and gravel means only people with all the necessary permits from the Minerals Commission, EPA and the District Assembly would be allowed to carry out sand and gravel winning activities and properly reclaim the lands to enable it regain its strength and nutrients.
He called on the support and cooperation of the traditional authorities and opinion leaders to ensure that success is achieved in protecting the farm lands from self-centered individuals.
The theme for the year’s celebration is “Delivering smart solutions for sustainable food, security and reliance”.
In a speech delivered by the District Agricultural Director, Mr. Prince Ofori Boateng, the direction and focus of the Government is to ensure that there are appropriate and smart measures put in place to produce and keep enough food for Ghanaians in spite of the population growth figures, climate change issues and post production challenges.
He asserted that the celebration of the day affords stakeholders the opportunity to generally assess progress in the lamplight of agriculture.
He analyzed that the overall rainfall figures recorded in 2023 were relatively much better than that of 2022, this to a large extent impacted positively on agriculture in the district.
Mr. Boateng also added that the total land cultivated in 2022 was 5,834.60 and in 2023 it is pegged at 5901.21 therefore farmers cultivated more this year.
Under Livestock production, Mr. Prince Boateng said livestock production in the district over the years have been one of the best in the Greater Accra Region, currently the district has a total of about 38,679 poultry birds, 19,775 cattle, 12632 goats, 5,936sheep and 8552 pigs. Thankfully he added, there were no reports of livestock or poultry disease outbreaks this year.
Under processing and marketing of agricultural produce, Mr. Prince Boateng noted that the district can boast of a number of aggregators and processors doing business with the farmers, a few of the local farmers have also begun small scale agro processing, he added.
Planting for Food and Jobs phase two was launched this year in August to ensure a more comprehensive and sustainable approach to offering smart solutions to the various issues affecting the agricultural chain.
Mr. Boateng lamented on the many challenges affecting the agricultural sector in the district, notable among them are losing agricultural lands to estate developers, illegal sand winning, and high cost of farm mechanization, but under the leadership of the current DCE, tireless efforts were being made to reduce and avert these challenges.
The programme brought together all stakeholders in the agricultural sector, traditional leaders of the land, the Coordinating Director. Mr. Bernard Mats Yingura, and other management staff, Heads of department and the general staff also graced the occasion,
The day was also used to screen for HIV/AIDS as the day also marks World AIDS Day, there was screening for other non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and also iconic was education on fire safety and fire simulation exercise.