By Erica Apeatua Addo, GNA
Teberebie (W/R), Dec. 7, GNA - A sixty year-old woman has won the Overall Best Municipal Farmer for Tarkwa-Nsuaem in the Western Region.
At the 35th Farmer’s Day celebration at Teberebie, Madam Amokwesi Amoah, who hails from Simpa, took home a deep-freezer, wax print, bags of fertilizer, spraying machine, wheel barrow, wellington boots, sewing machine, shovels, cutlass, plastic chairs, T-shirt and certificate.
She owns six fish ponds, 40 acres of cocoa, 15 acres of rubber, 15 acres of plantain, six sheep, two acres cassava, maize five acres, foreign and local birds 210, three acres of cocoyam, three acres of okro, eight goats, thirty cows and three acres of garden eggs.
The Second runner-up, a 30 year-old female farmer from Boamah community, Madam Adjarah Iddrisu, was rewarded with orthopedic mattress, wax print, knapsack sprayer, wheel barrow, plastic chair, wellington boots, cutlass, sewing machine, flat screen television set, T-shirt and a certificate.
The third runner up position went to Mr Samuel Adu Rockson, 35, from Wassa Agona and he received wax print, three bags of fertilizer, cutlass, knapsack sprayer, wheel barrow, plastic chair, wellington boots, weedicide, roofing sheets and a radio set.
Fourteen other farmers, two agriculture extension officers and the Essamang Kofi Mensah Junior High School were also rewarded.
They received machetes, wellington booths, agrochemicals, bars of key soap, spraying machines, certificates and T-shirts.
Mr Gilbert Kennedy Asmah, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), said government acknowledged the strategic roles agriculture played in transforming the economy.
He said to ensure self-sufficiency in food production, the government had undertaken flagship programmes including the Planting for Foods and Jobs (PFJ), Rearing for Foods and Jobs, and Planting for Exports and Rural Development.
These are to improve the yields of farmers and production of livestock through access to markets, reduced post-harvest losses and enhanced availability of agriculture extension services, the MCE said.
He said under the PFJ 13,507 farmers of various crops like rice, maize and vegetables had been registered this year.
“300 bags of maize and 200 AGRA fertilizer of 40 kilograms were sold to farmers at subsidized rates. These subsidized seeds covered areas of 2,300 acreage of land for maize and 1,200 acreage of rice cultivation this year alone. 2,305 NPK and Tecamin liquid fertilizers were sold to 658 farmers to cultivate maize, rice and vegetables” he added.
Mr Asmah said that had increased the yield of maize from 2.4 metric tons per hectare to 3.8 metric tons per hectare, while rice has also increased from 38.4 bags to 60.8 bags.
The government launched the Rearing for Food and Jobs this year with the objective of increasing the production of poultry and livestock, he said.
He said 250 farmers who are already into poultry production and potential poultry farmers as well as those who had left the industry had been registered for the commencement of the programme.
They would soon be provided with subsidised day old chicks, breeding stock and feed to begin the programme.
On the One District one Factory, Mr Asmah said the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality would establish an oil palm factory with a capacity of 1,000,000 metric tonnes production per year and a land at Dompim had been earmarked for the project.
The Municipal Agriculture Director, Nanabyene Acquah Thompson, commended the gallant farmers for their dedication to feed residents of Tarkwa-Nsuaem and the nation at large.
Madam Amoah, on behalf of the awardees, expressed appreciation to the organisers for recognising their efforts in nation building.
She advised the youth to venture into agriculture as a business rather than a way of life.
AngloGold Ashanti (Iduapriem) Limited and Gold Fields Ghana Limited, Tarkwa Mines, took the opportunity to reward hard working farmers in their host communities.