Story by Carlos Afanou

Hajia Salma Sani Mohammed Adams-Kuta on the occasion of the Second National Farmers' day celebration of the Ayawaso East Municipal Assembly on Friday 6th November, 2020 has expressed her gratitude to the members of the Planning Committee who worked tirelessly to put the programme through.

According to her, the Government of Ghana instituted Farmer's Day in 1985 in recognition of the important role played by farmers to salvage the Ghanaian economy in 1983, especially after the 1982 and 1983 national famine. The survival of any society to a larger extent depends on farmers as they produce food and fiber that nourish and clothe the people. They make responsible use of natural resources and utilize both primitive and advanced technology to perform these functions.

She said, the theme chosen for this year's celebration: " ENSURING AGRIBUSINESS DEVELOPMENT UNDER COVID-19 OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES," is very appropriate in that it was chosen to reemphasize the importance of maintaining agribusiness development in the wake of the COVID -19 pandemic. The unprecedented COVID-19  pandemic and various measures taken by Governments to safeguard the spread of the virus, including restriction of movements of people and goods as well as social distancing was expected to negatively affect the food and agriculture sector of countries around the globe including Ghana.

This is because the agriculture sector sustains more than half of Ghana's labour force, mostly as smallholders who cultivate their own plots of land with their families. Agriculture makes up 54% of Ghana's GDP, and over 40% of export earnings. It also covers over 90% of  Ghana's own food needs and the forecast by experts was that COVID-19 would severely endangers this vital sector, with potentially knock-on effects for both producers and consumers.

She continues by saying tha, the pandemic has further presented Government the need to process our perishable food produce into dried products to increase their shelf lives and ensure their availability at all times especially in times of uncertainties. And additionally, the need to mechanize our farm operation to reduce the dependence on huge concentration of human labour which is now dangerous in the COVID-19 situation.

She also said that, the restrictions on people to people contacts has also led to the identification of ICT as a major way out to connect the produce of farmers to the markets, provision of Extension services and other agricultural related information sharing activities. The agricultural sector now more than ever before, must adopt technology and innovation to adapt to the effects of diseases such as COVID-19 and other global uncertainties that threaten the food securit, nutrition and economic development.

She also urges the public to take advantage of the exercise and go for the screening since is one of the surest ways to know our HIV status and thereby informed our behavioural pattern.

Bernard Larkai emerged as the overall 2020 best farmer at the municipal level for Ayawasso East Municipal 

According to him, he is using this honor to encourage young farmers to be all involving in the production of crops and rearing of farm animals for the use of man.

This recognition fits and could characterized any of the youth-farmers as I have been honored, he said.

It was said that " Hard work pays" and "Half work done deserves no pay". Indeed, farming in actual sense needs some kind of dedication and sacrifice to realize good results. Taking pain to yield good results, makes it difficult for most of the youth to practice this culture of farming.

He continued by saying that he is using this medium to entreat all the youth who are currently not in any trade to involve themselves in the farming in their own small way and next year by this time, it will worth a testimony give.

List of the winners of the Ayawaso East farmer's day

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