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Don`t engage in expensive funerals, festivals

2008-11-17 22:32:09
This article has been read 867 times.

Alhassan Samari
THE Regional Minister, Mr. Alhassan Samari, has advised farmers in the region not to be wasteful by engaging in expensive funerals and festivals, but to save to reinvest in the coming farming season.

Mr. Samari observed that this year was certainly better than last year, in terms of food production, and said it was only by reinvesting in the activities of the next farming season, that farmers could increase food production on a sustainable basis.

The Regional Minister, who gave the advice at Sandema, on the occasion of the 24th edition of National Farmers Day celebration, congratulated farmers for their continued contribution to improving food security for the country’s working population.

He cautioned farmers to desist from setting bushes on fire, since bushfires were very disastrous to the environment, and sometimes caused loss of lives and property.

Touching on the theme of the celebration, which was; “Globalisation; its effects on agricultural production in Ghana,” Mr. Samari said globalisation has had a positive effect of agriculture in Ghana, and the region in particular, over the year. According to him, the region has had financial support for projects like URADEP, LACOREP I and II, ICOUR and Vea Project.

Mr. Samari noted that Ghana’s participation in NEPAD, AGOA and other initiatives, had benefited agriculture through financial support services and industrial investment, particularly the Northern Star Tomato Factory at Pwalugu, which has given sustainable employable livelihood to people for improved food security and incomes.

The Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr. Roy Ayariga, said with globalisation agriculture production must target markets outside the villages, towns, regions, and even outside the country.

This, he said, meant that the Ghanaian farmer should no longer just consider what Ghanaians consumed, but what other people in other countries consumed, but could not produce.

Mr. Ayariga said globalisation enabled importers to bring in food produced in the developed world where they subsidise their farmers.

The food arrives here at a cheaper price than our local production, and thwarts the efforts of the local farmers. He added that with the soaring food prices in the developed world, importers were now looking buy the locally, and this meant that there was a good market for the local farmers.

Developed countries cannot therefore afford to dump cheap food in the country, as food aid only to destroyed local production.

Mr. Ayariga claimed that food prices had suddenly gone up, because the advanced countries now prefer bio-fuels, and were converting maize and other grains into bio-fuels.

This has also brought about high cost of fertilisers, noting that if government had not subsidised fertilisers, many farmers could not have raised the money to buy them.

The District Chief Executive for Builsa, the host District for the region celebration, Mr. Thomas Alonsi, congratulated all farmers in the district, most especially all the 21 who received prizes for their hard work.

He said as a means of replacing subsistence farming with commercial farming, the district assembly had acquired three tractors, which have been put at the disposal of farmers to plough and harrow their fields at subsidised rates.

The District Assembly had also procured ten water pumps, which would be given out to individuals and groups to enable them go into dry season farming.

Mr. Alonsi bemoaned the negative harmful effects of environmental degradation in the district, with trees being felled indiscriminately and bush burning also on the increase, despite several calls on all to safeguard the environment through the avoidance of these harmful practices.

The Member of Parliament for Builsa North constituency, Mrs. Agnes Asangalisa Chigabatia, was happy that farmers in the constituency took advantage of the government’s initiatives, to produce quality rice and other food crops and livestock

The Regional Best Farmer Award went to 40-year-old Suleimana Aberinga of the Bolgatanga Municipality, who cultivated millet, tomatoes, rice, groundnut and beans among other crops, totaling 165 acres, while rearing 50 cattle, 100 goats, 80 sheep and other livestock like guinea fowls, chickens and pigeons.

He received a corn mill, a sewing machine, a radio set, a full piece of wax print, and a bicycle. The rest included a pair of Wellington boots, a spraying machine, four machetes, 5 packets of assorted agrochemicals, and a shovel.

Some of the 16 regional awardees were Dauda Awinaab of Garu-Tempane - Best Onion Farmer, John Mark Atarizinz of Bolgatanga - Best Rice Farmer, Thomas Azeeb Sakande of Bawku West - Best Groundnut Farmer, J.A Atinga of Bongo - Best Livestock Farmer, Ahmed Bogobire of Kassena-Nankana district - Best Soyabean Farmer and Timbilla Babon of Talensi-Nabdam - Best Millet Farmer.

Their prizes included radio sets, full pieces of wax prints, and bicycles, pairs of Wellington boots, spraying machines, machetes, packets of assorted agrochemicals, and shovels.

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