Municipal Chief Executive of Abuakwa South Municipal Assembly has urged the constituents to help consolidate gains made in government’s flagship ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme.
According to Akosua Asabea Annoh, the initiative “has served its purpose when you compare farming in the past and now.”
She made these comments at the National Farmer’s Day Celebration on Friday, December 3 at the Akyem Asafo Presby JHS Park.
“Agriculture has now become one of the respectable and profitable ventures in the country. Many people, educated and non-educated, youth and the elderly all see agriculture as a means of making sustainable income and not just as a hobby,” she said.
The MCE further highlighted some government-led interventions such as One District One Factory project (1D1F), Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), Youth in Green House Enterprise and Agricultural Mechanization service centres (AMSECS) which she believes have been instrumental in the sector.
On the back of this, she urged farmers and other constituents to take advantage of them to develop their full potential.
Mrs Asabea Annoh also touched on the municipality’s provision of oil palm seedlings for farmers in a bid to improve its cultivation.
In her speech, she insisted that the initiative will be intensified as it provides alternative livelihood from the dreaded illegal small-scale mining or ‘galamsey.’
She added that “Additionally, the Minerals Commission, through the Municipal Assembly has distributed 62,500 free improved Oil Palm Seedlings to 608 farmers, comprising of 498 males and 110 females to cultivate 1,042 acres of land under the Planting for Expert and Rural Development Programme.”
The MCE believes that these are testaments to the fact that government has the wellbeing of residents at heart.
The theme for this year’s celebration ‘Planting for Food and Jobs – Consolidating Food Systems in Ghana.’
Read the full statement here:
Today marks the 37th edition of our National Farmer’s Day, aimed at celebrating our hardworking farmers for their contribution towards the growth of the Agricultural sector, and I am extremely glad to be here. This occasion also marks my first public engagement since I assumed office as the Municipal Chief Executive. So, it is one that would linger in my memory for long. I grateful to the Paramount Chief of Abuakwa State, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin and the Traditional Council for all the support, counsel, and cooperation I have received so far.
I wish to also express my profound gratitude to the Hon. Presiding Member, Chief and people of Akyem Asafo for agreeing to host us on this day and lending immense support to make this beautiful ceremony a success.
Farmer’s Day is the day when Ghanaians across the country pause to remember those who worked hard to ensure there is food on our table for always. As the nation continues this great tradition, I say we are grateful to all farmers for their unrelenting sacrifices.
Nana Chairman, I bring you Farmers Day greetings from our visionary and transformational leader, the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Hon. Regional Minister and the Hon. Minister for Agriculture.
The contribution of agriculture to national development and our very existence as humans cannot be overemphasized and therefore recognizing farmers on a day like this is the least we can do as a country. Our communities in Ghana are largely agrarian but for many years farming has been characterized by the use of labour-intensive methods of farming, with the use of rudimentary tools like hoes and machetes featuring prominently.
For our farmers to show resolve and be relentless in the face of these challenges we need to celebrate them, the reason for this great occasion. The Government of his Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has since 2017 implemented programmes to boost production in agriculture, thereby making life more bearable for our farmers.
I deem this year’s theme for the celebration, “Planting for Food and Jobs – Consolidating Food Systems in Ghana” very apt, given the times we find ourselves. Planting for Food and Jobs is one of the flagship Agricultural interventions launched in 2017, in addition to four other Implementation Modules which are; the One District One Factory project (1D1F); Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), Youth in Green House Enterprise and Agricultural Mechanization service centres (AMSECS).
These programme were launched by the Government as part of efforts to promote food security and provide immediate availability of food crops on the market, as well as create jobs, for the average Ghanaian who is interested in Agriculture. The project extended to the general creation of awareness for all formal workers and institutions to establish backyard gardens to contribute to the purpose.
The Planting for Food and Jobs has served its purpose when you compare farming in the past and now. Agriculture has now become one of the respectable and profitable ventures in the country. Many people, educated and non-educated, youth and the elderly all see agriculture as a means of making sustainable income and not just as a hobby.
As part of efforts to provide alternative livelihoods for the youth in the Abuakwa South Municipality, the Assembly has over the past few years raised thousands of Oil Palm Seedlings and distributed freely to interested members of the public. We have identified oil palm as not only lucrative but also resilient which can thrive on land ravaged by illegal mining, which is common here.
Additionally, the Minerals Commission, through the Municipal Assembly has distributed 62,500 free improved Oil Palm Seedlings to 608 farmers, comprising of 498 males and 110 females to cultivate 1,042 acres of land under the Planting for Expert and Rural Development Programme. Produce from these plantations under cultivation would serve as raw material which would feed the Oil Palm Processing Factory in Kyebi which is almost completed. This is evidence of visionary leadership which is sensitive to the wellbeing of the people.
Nana Chairman, for the first time in our history, we have a pension scheme for cocoa farmers which would ensure that when we are old and can no longer till the soil, we would have some cushioning to enable us survive. It would be extended to all farmers soon and I wish to encourage all farmers to get on board. This is a Government that talks and walk the talk.
The Government’s One District One Warehouse initiative is aimed at ensuring post-harvest loses are reduced to the barest minimum and that our buffer stocks are indeed well stocked. Similarly, the construction of several arterial and feeder roads in the municipality and indeed across the country is meant to ensure that farm produce do not get locked up in the hinterlands but rather find their way onto the market. Today’s farmer is better off than he was a few years ago due to abled and decisive leadership.
A country’s ability to feed its population certainly reduces poverty and develops technical and human capacities in the rural and urban areas which would in turn promote the country’s economic growth when the produce is exported to other countries. We are certainly on the right path as evidence shows that Ghana was a net exporter of food recently until erratic rainfall patterns derailed our efforts, albeit temporarily.
Nananom, ladies and Gentlemen, as farmers, we need to keep in mind that we are in December and so the harmattan season beckons with its accompanying dry weather conditions. Let us be wary about the use of fire to avoid the perennial occurrence of bush fires which destroy farmland and property and further impoverish us.
Let us also remember that our common enemy, the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. We need to constantly remind ourselves to observe the safety protocols such as washing of hands with soap, wearing of face masks, social distancing and the use of hand sanitisers strictly.
I urge all those who have not been fully vaccinated to take advantage of the declaration of December as Vaccination month by the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service to get immunized against the virus. Let us all ignore rumours and conspiracy theories being spread around and go for the vaccines to protect ourselves, families and loved ones.
Nana Chairman, it is essential that all of us here today recognize the commitment and toil of all our farmers. Their lives should motivate us to strive to succeed in whatever endeavour we find ourselves. Weather uncertainties, loss of produce, risk of pest invasion are realities the farmer faces every year, yet he remains unfazed and grabs his hoe and machete to till the soil. Please say thank you to our farmers today because they remain our own gallant heroes.
Congratulations to all award winners today. For those who did not win anything this year, do not be crestfallen but rather strive to get recognised next year. We also thank all farmers who brought exhibits to add colour to the programme.
Hon. Presiding Member, Chief and people of Asafo, I say a big thank you for the warm reception. May God bless you and your families and may God continue to bless our homeland Ghana.
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