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General News of Friday, 6 December 2013

Source: myjoyonline.com

Farmers' Day: Farmers, fishers receive honours today

Farmers and Fishermen across the country will be honoured Friday for their contribution to food security and national development.

The acknowledgement and award scheme instituted in 1984 during the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) era recognises the vital role farmers and fishermen play in the Ghanaian economy.

As part of the National Farmers' Day celebrations, various activities and programmes are held by the Ministries for Food and Agriculture and Fisheries and Aquaculture, but the climax of these activities is marked on the first Friday of December every year.

The day is always a national holiday.

On Monday December 2, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Clement Kofi Humado, led the National Farmers' Forum as part of activities to mark Farmers' Day.

The National Farmers' Forum brings together farmers to promote and enhance information sharing and create opportunities for building partnerships among various stakeholders and chain actors that could be useful in influencing their productive systems.

At the Forum, it was revealed by the Mr Humado that Ghana is now self-sufficient in the production of major staples except rice and poultry products while the sufficiency gap in rice is closing from 30% in 2006 to 60% presently due to production from government irrigation sites and production from valley bottom rice schemes.

This year's Forum took place on the theme: 'Reducing post-Harvest losses for sustainable food securing and Nutrition.'

On Friday, at Sogakope in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region, Vice President Kwasi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur will decorate the National Best Farmer.

Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Alhassan Yakubu Ahmed told Joy News on Thursday that despite limited resources government will continue to provide incentives to improve farming in the country.

"We also making efforts as a government through the Ministry to ensure that their challenges are resolved [to enable them] put food on our table, raw materials for our industries and high crop for export", Dr Yakubu said.

Dr. Yakubu Ahmed has however denied claims the Agric Ministry has yet to give out awards to winners of last year’s ceremony.

The only issue, according to the Minister, was with delays in putting up a three bedroom apartment awarded to the 2011 National Best Farmer.

He indicated that the three bedroom house was nearly finished and would soon be handed to the winner.

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