A 63-year old former vice chancellor of the University of Education Winneba, Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw of Buoyem in the Techiman North District was on Friday declared the overall best farmer in the District.
Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw has more than thirty-five years of professional experience in teaching and research both at the secondary and tertiary levels of education in Ghana and West Africa.
By dint of hard work he became an Associate Professor and Full Professor of Science in 2004 and 2007 respectively in the University of Education, Winneba (UEW).
He began his farming career about seven years ago as a livestock farmer.
He currently owns 144 acres of farmland which includes 94 acres of Cocoa plantation, 40 acres of cashew, cassava, three acres of Yam, five acres of cassava, and two acres plantain.
He also has 250 local birds, 90 sheep and goats, 76 cattle, 3 ponds of Tilapia and catfish.
For his prize, Professor Akwasi Asabere received a tricycle (motor king), an LCD 32" flat screen television, a bicycle, a full piece wax print, three key soap bars, five cutlasses, three pair of Wellington boots, one radio and two knapsack sprayers.
The first runner up award went to 54 year old Enock Afrifa of Assamahunu who went home with a motor bike, 2 knapsack sprayers, 2 pair of Wellington boots, full piece of cloth, 3 cutlasses, 3 bars of key soap and a radio set.
The second runner-up, Amos Ackah Kwabena, a native of Ayeasu also went home with a double decker fridge, 2 knapsack sprayers, 2 pair of Wellington boots, full piece of cloth, 3 cutlasses, 3 bars of key soap, and a radio set.
Five others, including the best crop farmer, Patrick Kyeremeh of Ayeasu, best livestock farmer, Atta Kusi of Mesidan, best physically challenged farmer, Fordjour Joseph of Asueyi, best Agric extension Agent, Yaw Biatrng Foster and a special award winner Nana Annor of Asueyi were recognised and honoured with items like bicycles, wax prints, key soap bars, cutlasses, wellington boots, pesticides and knapsack sprayers, roofing sheets and bags of cement.
Speaking at the durbar held in Asueyi to observe the 33rd national farmers’ day celebration held under the theme: “Farming for Food and Jobs”, the District Chief Executive for Techiman North, Hon. Peter Mensah congratulated the award winners for their selfless and devoted contributions towards food provision for the people of the district and the entire nation.
He added that the choice of the theme for this year's event "is not only appropriate but timely particularly when everything including Ghanaian staple foods are being imported whilst youth employment stands at 48 percent".
He commended the Director and staff of the Agric Directorate for their dedicated services to farmers and urged them to continue to explore innovative ways of developing and strengthening the various Farmer-Based Organisations (FBOs) on business lines.
He also urged farmers to take advantage of government's flagship program the planting for food and jobs adding that government is committed to making agriculture a lucrative business.
Mr. Peter Mensah also advised the people to refrain from unsafe sexual practices as the day coincided with the world HIV/AIDS day.
On his part, the district director of Agriculture, Mr. Paul D. K. Tuolong urged farmers to take advantage of the Planting for food and Jobs (PFFJs) program by patronizing the subsidized inputs provided by government in the next farming season.
The programme was graced by dignitaries including traditional rulers in Asueyi, member of parliament Hon. Martin Oti Gyarko, the former DCE Anthony Kwaku Manu among others.
Citations were also given to five persons who have contributed immensely to the progress of the district. They include former education minister and MP for Techiman North Prof. Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, former deputy education minister and MP Hon. Alex Kyeremeh, former regional minister, former minister for housing under the erstwhile Rawlings administration and former MP for Techiman North, the late Isaac Agyei Mensah, former DCE Hon. Anthony Kwaku Manu and former MCE for Techiman Hon. Isaac Osei-Antwi.