The Bongo District event of the 2017 National Farmers’ Day celebration, the 33rd in the series, has taken place at the Saabo community.


The Overall District Best Farmer award was bestowed on Naba Nsobila Akanobre, a 60-year farmer who is also the Chief of the Gowrie community. The awardee rears animals including 42 cattle, 26 sheep, 30 goats, 58 local fowls, 34 guinea fowls and eight donkeys. He has also cultivated seven acres of millet, seven acres of maize, five acres of rice and eight acres of sorghum, among others.


In addition, he supports colleague farmers with seed, plough services and food stuffs and pays NHIS registration fees for 10 people while sponsoring the school fees of five needy children in his community. For his prize, he received a brand new engine-powered tricycle, a radio set, some yards of wax print, a knapsack sprayer, wellington boots, two cutlasses and a pic sack.



In all, 11 categories of awards were presented to various deserving farmers.


The District Best Physically Challenged farmer went to Mr Ayambire Adua Samuel, a native of Dua-Yikene who took home a knapsack sprayer, a gas cylinder cum burner, a radio set and wellington boots for his prize.


In an address, Hon. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga, Bongo District Chief Executive (DCE), called on Ghanaians to actively embrace the Government’s “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ) programme, adding that the PFJ was  government’s strategic intervention to increase production of maize by 30 per cent, rice by 49 per cent, soya bean by 25 per cent and sorghum by 28 per cent.


A successful implementation of the PFJ, he said, would, therefore, position Ghana as a food-sufficient nation that could feed its ever-increasing population.


The programme, he said, would also create jobs for the citizens since about 70 per cent of the population depended directly on agriculture and its related activities for their livelihood.


Mr  Ayamga said Government intended to do so through the provision of inputs such as fertilizers and fast-yielding seeds as well as adequate provision of extension services to farmers especially in rural Ghana.


He disclosed that the Bongo District received 9,390 bags of NPK fertilizer, 4,420 bags of Sulphate of Amonia and 1,385 bags of Urea which had since been distributed to some registered farmers after a meticulous screening by the Department of Agriculture.


Meanwhile, he said, 290 sachets of tomato and pepper seeds had also been delivered to farmers across the District.


Touching on the theme for this year’s Farmers’ Day ― “Farming for Food and Jobs”― Mr Ayamga noted that one agricultural-related policy that held great prospects for the country was the “One District, One Factory” [1D1F] policy.


He disclosed that the District was putting together a team to work closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure that the programme became beneficial to citizens in the area, adding that the eventual roll-out of the 1D1F would provide a ready market for the absorption of farm produce from the PFJ.


He said government had also initiated plans to construct a-10,000-metric ton warehouse in each of the 216 districts in the country.


The DCE also used the occasion to announce that the District, in conjunction with the Feeder Roads Department, had started procurement processes for the award of various forms of works to be done on selected roads in the District. 


These, he said, included the Bongo-Namoo road, Namoo-Zorkor, Yorigor-Gowrie-Vea, Balungu-Vea, Yorigor-Bogrigor, Adaboya-Apatanga and Kongo-Beo feeder roads, adding that the full rehabilitation of these roads would improve travel time and open up the road network for the transportation of farm produce to marketing centres in and outside the district.


He commended farmers for toiling so hard through the years to feed families in the area and the general public, though they faced all manner of odds, such as the annual poor rainfall patterns and other forms of challenges peculiar to the northern parts of the country.


Mr Ayamga also expressed appreciation to farmer-centered NGOs like the RESULT Project and the USAID as well as the Bongo Rural Bank for their immense support to the District’s farmer population.


Earlier, in a welcome address, Mr Edgar Dra, Bongo District Director of the Department of Agriculture, disclosed that the Department had only six Agricultural Extension Agents and seven supervisors.


Regardless of this small number of staff, he said, his outfit was able to make regular home and farm visits to about 27,578 farmers during the year to advice farmers on good agricultural practices, monitor crop performance and undertake disease surveillance.


Mr Dra said the District experienced a short drought in September 2017 which affected some crops while the Fall Army Worm also affected a total of 760 hectares of land.


This notwithstanding, he said, the Department of Agriculture was able to recover 621 hectares of the affected land through the distribution of agro-chemicals to 949 farmers for controlling the worm.


Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)





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