Hon.Catherine Reckling, District Chief Executive for Sekyere South in the Ashanti region has lauded all farmers in the district and the country at large for their unrelenting efforts over the years to feed the people of this Nation and for being a stakeholder in the nation building.
According to her ,it is understandable fact that , agriculture continues to play a crucial role in the Ghanaian economy.Adding that since independence , despite of the subsistence and small holding nature of our agricultural activities,it remains the very backbone of the economy and the main engine of our growth, accounting to 54% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and over 40% of export earnings.
She said,the 36th Farmers day celebration essentially reaffirms oneness in purpose and resilience as a government and district to explore specific solutions inherent in boosting the fortunes in the agricultural sector.
The 2019/2020 most hardworking district chief executive award winner by Pan African Heroes Foundation further noted ,the theme for the occasion which was “Ensuring Agribusiness Under COVID-19 Opportunities and Challenges “was very significant and highly appreciate considering the challenges and opportunities that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said ,COVID-19 severely endangered this vital sector with potentially disastrous knock -off effects for both producers and consumers.
“The pandemic has tested and challenged three significant areas of Ghana’s agriculture ,namely ; production systems, supply chain systems and food commodity preferences. It impacted on food demand and supply , indirectly through decrease in purchasing power ,the capacity to produce and distribute food , slowdown of services sector , delay in input supply , decline in foreign exchange and unemployment due to lay-offs by employers.”She stressed.
The DCE noted,in times of the pandemic,farmers could not have access to farm inputs which affected production.The inability to supply their produce to urban areas due to restrictions on movement and also closure of restaurants and hotels imposed by the government to avert the spread of the virus ultimated the food value chain in the country.
However,as a country,we have come to the realization that the COVID-19 has made the country to focus on growing what we eat and eating what we grow .
All these interventions provided an opportunity for farmers to increase production and made the agricultural sector less sensitive to the shock of the pandemic.
The increase in demand for local foods due to COVID-19 pushed a lot of investors into Agriculture production there by creating employment for the energetic youth in the country.This also made Agriculture entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ideas to make the Agriculture sector resilient.
She announced that,in line with the government’s policy of planting for foods and jobs program which was launched to increase food production in the country and create employment farmers participation has increased from 1,892 as in 2019 to 3,246 in the year 2020.Likewise the acreage from 2,877 to 2,960.
Under the planting for food and jobs program,this year, total of 644 farmers (386 males and 258 females) received 275 bags of maize , totaling 1365 acres.
Again,465 farmers received 348 bags of rice , totaling 870 acres ,with 564 farmers receiving 565 sachets of tomato seeds to cover 565 acres of land.
Also ,500 farmers received 500 sachets of pepper seeds to cover 500 acres of land and another set of 500 farmers receiving 500 sachets of onion to cover 500 acres of land.
Again,40 farmers had access to the cultivation of lettuce seeds and 650 farmers receiving 2,767 bags of NPK fertilizers to increase the fertility of the lands for productivity.
This came to light during the 36th Farmers day cerebration held across the country.
Source: Ayisah Foster/Broadcastergh.com