In a post on his Facebook page on Saturday, December 3, he said it is completely nonsensical to continue celebrating Farmers’ Day when the agriculture sector is failing and the value chain is fraught with many challenges that are begging for attention.
“Why do we celebrate Farmers Day when the agricultural industry is failing and we are consistently selecting our political allies as the best farmers? We need to revisit the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy and place a greater emphasis on lower-chain processes. Until there are significant adjustments and changes, the celebration is not deserving of the day to me,” he wrote.
In his view, the money that goes into the organisation of the event and the awards should be channelled into addressing the challenges that farmers have had to grapple with in their quest to produce food enough to feed the nation.
“Although I did observe Farmers Day, I kept wondering what the point was. We’ve gotten off track. When money could have been used to support the value chain by assisting farmers in purchasing seedlings, fertilisers, subsidized machinery, weedicide, etc., we instead chose to bring in $400 million for insurance through the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool from the 2023 budget.
“There has been a food shortage predicted for 2023, poultry farmers are in tears because there isn’t enough maize in the system, main industry farmers didn’t farm this year, planting for food and jobs has failed, major seed suppliers haven’t received payment since 2021, and we import more food than we produce,” Alhaji Fawan Iddi Issah added in the post that got many of his Facebook followers reacting, with many agreeing with him.
December 2 of every year is declared a national holiday to celebrate farmers across the country and deserving farmers are rewarded for their outstanding involvement in agriculture. The aim is supposed to motivate the farmers to keep producing more to feed the nation, and also to inspire others to venture into agriculture.
The 2022 edition of the celebration which happened to be the 38th of its kind was held at Koforidua Jubilee Park in the Eastern Region under the theme; ‘Accelerating agricultural development through value addition’.
A mixed crop and livestock farmer, Nana Yaw Sarpong Serebour was adjudged the best farmer and took home GH₵1,000,000 and two nights all-expense paid to stay for two at the Peduase Valley Resort.
He owns about 900 acres of oil palm plantation, 65 acres of cocoa plantation, 36 acres of cowpea, and 37 acres of cassava plantation, and also breeds cattle, sheep and goats in the Ashanti Region, all of which earned him the award.
The first runner-up, Adjei Fosu Seth from Kintampo North took home a tractor, trailer, ploughs, and sprayer.
Then, the second runner-up Professor Akwasi Asabre Ameyaw from Techiman North in the Bono East region received a tractor with other Agricultural tools.
Other farmers won various things in diverse categories too.