Fifty year-old Philip Kwaku Agyemang has been adjudged as the National Best Farmer for 2017 at the 33rd National Best Farmer Celebration held in Kumasi today [Friday] December 1, 2017.
He takes home $100,000 cash prize as his prize.
He owns 280 acres of farmland which includes 120 acres of cocoa , more than three acres of fish pond, 95 acres of plantain, seven acres of cashew, five acres for orange farms, seven acres for coconut.
He also has 45,000 poultry and other livestock.
The 2nd National Best Farmer award went to Mabel Ann Akoto Cudjo of Hohoe in the Volta Region while the 3rd National Best Farmer award went to Madam Rebecca Commey of Ga South District of the Greater Accra Region.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said government a total 320 small dams and dug-outs in 64 districts in northern Ghana have been identified for development as part of the government’s One-District-One-Dam project.
He made the revelation at the 33rd National Framers Day Celebration held in Kumasi today [Friday].
The president said out of the number, 192 of them would be evaluated for development in 2018 in the selected areas.
A water transmission project to distribute water from River Oti, the Black and White Volta to communities for productive cultivations will also begin in 2018 and will bring up to 90,000 hectares of farmlands under irrigation.
The Country Director for UNAIDS Ghana, Mrs. Angela Treton-Mbonde says AIDS is not over therefore we have to deal with prevention which means that, people have to be aware of their status.
People have to be knowledgeable; first of all they have to be aware their status; whether they are positive or negative. If they are negative, they should try to remain negative. If they are positive, they should seek care and treatment.
Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5fm, she said if they seek treatment, they should remain on their treatment and continue to take their medications, until it reaches a point where the virus in the body is suppressed…And when it reaches to this point, the virus is no longer able to be transmitted to other people.
The other thing we need to tackle she said is stigma and discrimination because these prevents people from accessing care. People with HIV face a lot of challenges in accessing care because of discrimination and so, we need to fight that within communities, she added.
Key population are also stigmatized and do not come out to seek healthcare she indicated further.
Ghana she said has made a lot of progress and currently we have about 100,000 people on treatment by the end of 2016 with 40 percent reduction in death related to HIV/AIDS.
New affections in children declined by 46 percent but new infections in adult have increased in adult by 49 percent.
Mrs. Angela Treton-Mbonde said we had a record number of infections in 2016 represented by 20,000 infections and 17,000 were among adults, she added.’’
‘’So this figure definitely tell us that we need to do more with respect to HIV prevention,’’ said.
A survey conducted in 2014 she said showed that knowledge of HIV declined from what it was in 2008 represented by 25% of people having comprehensive knowledge but in 2014, the percentage dropped to 18.
‘’That is also something that must urgently be tackled,’’ she said.
The same survey she added showed that the percentage of men and women with multiple partners had increased but the use of condoms decreased.
She noted that we will need a more comprehensive education on HIV/AIDS.
She was speaking in commemoration of the World AIDS Day marked globally on December 1.
She stressed on sustained efforts to help reduce new infections, fight stigma and discrimination and said we need 90% of people knowing their status, 90% of infected persons to be on treatment and 90% of those on treatment to continue with their medications to help suppress the viral load in the body.
World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto has appealed to chiefs to establish their own farms to support the Akufo-Addo government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
The Minister in his address at the 33rd edition of the National Farmers’ Day event in Kumasi encouraged chiefs to support the initiative by establishing their own farms, thus, one-chief-one-farm.
According to him, “We at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture are poised for action to provide leadership and technical support and direction to ensure significant achievement for the agricultural sector. Clearly, these are exciting times for the agricultural sector and everything possible will be done to exploit enormous potential the sector presents for accelerated national development. “Nana Chairman, I invite you all to come on board to support the efforts and the mission of government towards the realisation of this goal and objective. In this respect, I have appeared before the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi to appeal to Nananom to establish their own farms, one-chief-one-farm. I made a similar appeal to Members of Parliament when I appeared before parliament only yesterday…”
According to government, the Planting for Food and Jobs programme is expected to increase the production of maize by 30 per cent; rice by 49 per cent; soybean by 25 per cent; and sorghum by 28 per cent from the current production levels and create 750,000 jobs in both direct and indirect employment. This year’s National Farmers' Day celebration is under the theme: 'Farming for Food and Jobs'.
He added that government has given opportunity to farmers and stakeholders to exhibit their products and services as part of this year’s celebration.
“The innovation is that, we are doing a whole week of exhibition and fairs for all the stakeholders not only for farmers, but machinery suppliers and others, to give them the opportunity of a whole week to interact and learn from each other, and at the same time introduce elements of cultural displays by dedicating each day to each region, so they display their wares and do their cultural shows. We’ve been here for only 10 months, next year, there is going to be a lot of time to plan, and we are going to see a more radical way of celebrating.”
Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Agric students in Ghana, Stanley Mensah says they have regretted for opting to attend agric college.
According to him, when you visit the various agric training colleges, the logistics students would need to aid teaching and learning are no longer available.
He said students have to use their own resources to purchase fuel into the various mechanized machines for ploughing.
The main motive based on which the various colleges were established for the training of extension officers and other experts are no longer seen, he lamented.
The situation if not checked will further make our agric sector decline further, he warned.
Successive governments have failed us and I can tell you we have regretted opting to attend agric college. We should have gone to teacher training college so we will be respected like our other colleagues, he added.
On the restoration of their allowances, he said they have not heard from government after they called off their strike action following the failure of government to restore their allowances.
The Member of Parliament for Kintampo North Constituency, Mr. Etu Bonde has described the importation of food stuffs from other countries into the country as shameful.
The Member of the Committee on the Food and Agriculture Committee of Parliament wondered why Ghana that experiences favourable rainfall for crop production, would import from a country like Burkina Faso with an unfavourable rainfall.
According to him, Burkina Faso used irrigation as a strong tool for farming and that has paid off for them.
‘’It is shameful for Ghana to be importing tomatoes, onions from a desert. This is happening because we lack expertise, resources and skills in the agric sector. Irrigation is expensive but when you do it, you will generate more revenue. It is also shameful for us to import rice when we have rice in this country. The way we even process the rice in this country is also a challenge we need to address.’’
Ghana currently spends about US$600m annually to import rice. The country spends an additional US$400m annually to import sugar, tomatoes, vegetable cooking oil, frozen fish, poultry and wheat.
Former President John Dramani, as part of efforts to reduce importation of rice said his administration was targeting a reduction in the US$1b imports of food by developing the local capacity to produce more of them.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has also indicated that his administration will reduce the importation of food into the country following the launch of the One-District One-Warehouse initiative at Ejura in the Ashanti Region.
President Akufo-Addo revealed that the objective of the Warehouse initiative was to increase production of staples like maize by 30 per cent, rice by 25 per cent, sorghum by 28 per cent and soya bean by 25 per cent.
The programme forms part of the larger component of government’s Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP).
According to the President, the government will ensure the warehouses are equipped with modern equipment including drying and freezing systems.
The warehouse program will see to the construction of a 1000 metric tonnes capacity warehouse in each of the 216 districts across the country.
The Son of Major Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi Goes Home Tomorrow [Saturday], December 2, 2017.
The dedicated and committed Christian, Daniel Kenneth Badu Kobi died after a short illness.
DKB as he was affectionately called was a student at the Ashesi University and was touted as one of the brilliant and active students on campus.
His zeal for God's work has been described as exceptionally brilliant, selfless and genuinely amazing.
His burial has been slated for December 2, 2017. It starts from 8am to 10 am at the church premises (Glorious Wave Church International, Sakumono).
The deceased, was born to Prophet Emmanuel Badu Kobi and Mrs Gloria Kobi on the 10th of April, 1998.
The Member of Parliament Kintampo North Constituency, Mr. Etu Bonde believes the farmers’ day celebration which is marked as holiday should be scrapped.
He opined, workers should rather be allowed to go and work on that day so the amount of money generated is invested in the sector or given to farmers to boost their work.
Pest and diseases that attack farms do not go on holiday and so we should not also go on holiday, he said in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio.
Resources allocated to farming in the country he lamented is woefully inadequate and successive governments have failed to abide by the AU Maputo Declaration on Food and Security.
He said we can reward the farmers but we should not declare the day as holiday, rather we should make workers go to work so the revenue generated, is allocated to the Ministry of Agric to use same to enhance agric services.
He outlined the lack of guarantee market, knowledge and financial support as the major challenges confronting the sector.
The National Farmers Day is commemorated each year on the first Friday of December to honour our gallant Farmers and Fishers. The event acknowledges the vital position Farmers and Fishers occupy in the nations socio-economic development.
In particular, Ghana acknowledges farmers and fishers untiring efforts at feeding our growing population, providing raw materials to the nation’s industries, and contributing substantially to the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
During the celebration, exhibition is mounted by institutions and individuals to show case and share new ideas on technological developments in the agricultural sector in line with our resolution to apply science and technology to modernize our agricultural landscape.
This culminates in the improvement of productivity and profitability of our operations by making follow-ups as regards these new ideas.
A senior lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Robert Aidoo has said we have discussed for so long the challenges confronting the agric sector yet we have not seen any concrete steps taken to resolve them.
Ghana’s agric sector he said is in disarray despite the efforts been implemented.
He encouraged farmers to continue working hard. He said we have been discussing these things for far too long. Ghana has not move forward when it comes to agriculture.
He also bemoaned the way and manner the awards scheme is managed indicating that the awards are presented to well to do farmers.
He called on government to do things differently aside the farmers’ day to encourage farmers and provide them with inputs.
He tells Kwame Tutu , until deliberate targets are set with timelines and proper structures; Ghana’s progress in agriculture will continue to lag behind.
Ghana he added must move to productivity and charged leaders to pursue a path of land banks, proper mechanized sectors to enhance agriculture.
‘’The best way to mechanize is for farmers to own their own machines or for them to hire services from the mechanized centres. ‘’
He was of the view that the economy will see a robust turnaround if the agric sector is given the needed attention and create more jobs.
He further explained that the availability of technical expertise is key to help move from production to productivity.
Japanese trainer, Kenichi Yatsuhasi has been confirmed as head coach of Inter Allies FC.
He is also to manage the youth development side of the team-Cedar Stars Academy.
President of Inter Allies FC, Rabeh EL- Eter, said after the confirmation that, “we are glad to have Kenichi as our Head Coach for the coming season.”
The Japenese trainer, who is also the former Hearts of Oak Coach will arrive for club’s pre-season ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.