Minister lauds farmers
2009-12-23 19:36:46This article has been read 723 times.The Deputy Northern Regional Minister Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba has observed that despite a grim global picture vis-avis global warming and the lack of rains, resulting in severe drought and hunger in some countries, the region had so far been spared the experience of food crises because of the hard work of farmers.
He said agriculture is and would, therefore, continue to be the strongest option the region has for achieving accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction.
Mr. Mabengba was speaking at a ceremony during which thirty-five farmers from the Northern Region received awards in connection with this year’s 25th farmer’s day celebration for the Northern Region held in Yendi on Friday.
He indicated that government is on course as far as making the agriculture sector a major pivot around which the country’s economic growth will revolve.
According to the Deputy Regional Minister, it is for this reason that in spite of the increasing cost of fertilizer, machinery, seeds and other agricultural inputs on the global market, government continues to provide subsidy to cushion farmers.
He called on the youth to seize the opportunity proided by the Youth in Agriculture programme to take up farming as a business rather than the continuous search for non-existent jobs in the cities and towns.
Mr. Mabengba pleaded with farmers, fishermen and women not to engaged in practices that will worsen already bad climatic condition. "Bush fires are destroying the shea nut trees which are major cash crops in the region."
The Yendi Municipal Chief Executive Mr. Walvis Hudu stated that the
over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture and other poor agronomic practices make it difficult for the three Northern Regions to meet their food demands all year round.
He said it is therefore gratifying to note the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has indicated its resolve to deal with this debilitation problem with the launch of the Sananna Accelerated Development Authority to remedy the situation.
Mr. Hudu stated that the area is noted for the production of cereals, yam and cassava, and that the area has been supported under various interventions including the CIDA Funded Community Initiative for Food Security (CIFS), the Roots and Tuber Improvement Project (RTIP) and the Livestock Development Project by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
He appealed to the Northern Regional Coordinating Council and the Government to give special attention and priority to the eastern corridor of Northern Region when it comes to the implementation of the Savanna Acceleration Development Authority. "If this is done not only will it maximize the economic potential of the area but also put the huge human and natural resources into productive use for the benefit of the entire country."
In an address read on his behalf, the regional director of agriculture Mr. Sylvester Adongo said the modernization of agriculture cannot be ignored in the nation’s quest to achieve food security.
He stated that it is against this background that the government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is undertaking the training and retraining of operators of farm machinery and equipment under various programmes to update their skills in modern agricultural practices.
He indicated that the production of maize is expected to increase from 131,859 metric tones as at last year to 202,323mt this year, rice production expected to increase from 105,496 mt last year to 189,618mt this year, whiles yam production is also expected to increase from 1041,234mt to 1,337,700 mt this year. The production of millet, sorghum, groundnuts, cow pea and soya beans are expected do show an increase of more than 3000 metric tonnes over last year’s production.
The farmers received awards ranging from matchers, wax prints, spraying machines, bicycles, radio cassette recorded, corn mill, Wellington boots, T-shirts, hats, certificates among others.
The overall regional best farmers went to a 40-year-old farmer Samuel Mahammadu of Nyong in the Karaga District of the Northern Region. He took home a radio cassette recorder, a corn mill, a mobile phone, a hat, a T-shirt, certificate among other items.
The physically challenged farmer award went to Baba Paskpema of Gambaga in the East Mamprusi District. For his prize he took home bags of fertifilzer, radio cassette recorder, a hat, t-shirt, mobile phone and a certificate.