A five-day agriculture festival to herald this year’s National Farmers Day is underway in Accra.
Dubbed “AGRIFEST 2023”, the event, which is being held within the Ministries enclave, is to showcase various agricultural produce and equipment.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Bryan Acheampong, and the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson, jointly cut the tape to open the festival yesterday.
In all, 145 companies and organisations are participating in AGRIFEST 2023.
They are into agrochemicals, machinery and equipment dealership and in-put dealership.
Others are development partners and financial institutions.
On display are plant seedlings, farm produce such as yam, tomatoes, maize, local rice, plantain, banana, livestock, cocoa products, assorted plants, as well as tractors, weeding and irrigation equipment.
The exhibitors are located on the main road from the Ghanaian-European Centre adjacent the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations through the Ministries traffic lights on the street by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to the old Ministry of Health.
Opening the event, Dr Acheampong indicated that the government had come out with a plan for the country to be food self-sufficient by 2028.
He said with the five-year food security plan, “we believe that the trajectory we have embarked on will make us be food secure and resilient by 2028”.
Dr Acheampong said that effort could only be achieved on the back of farmers and, therefore, “if we are committing December 1 and the days before that to honour our farmers then it is in the right step”.
The minister said to achieve food security, there were a lot of actors that would help the country in that regard.
He named them as the input dealers, aggregators, farmers themselves, regional and district agriculture officers, the Fisheries Commission, fisheries departments across the country and other stakeholders.Showcase
“So it is important that we commit the week to showcase the tools that they tend to employ for us to meet our food security target by 2028,” Dr Acheampong stated.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture also said AGRIFEST was part of the awareness that the ministry wanted to create so that all Ghanaians would come on board to ensure that “we march the journey together as Ghanaians for our food security and resilience”.
Dr Acheampong expressed the hope that with the support of farmers and other stakeholders, the government would achieve its objectives.
Time to celebrate farmers
For her part, Mrs Koomson said it was necessary to honour the country’s farmers and fishers because but for them there would be no food for the citizenry.
“So, when it is time for us to celebrate them, let us all do it together in a grand style,” she entreated.
This year’s National Farmers Day, slated for Friday, December 1, 2023, among others, aims at rewarding farmers of the country for their hard work.
The 2023 event, which would be the 39th edition, would be held in Tarkwa in the Western Region on the theme: “Delivering Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience”.Categories
This year, farmers will be recognised in 15 categories at the national awards in Tarkwa.
These are the Overall National Best Farmer, the first and second runners-up, the National Best Farmers and 12 others, including the National Best Livestock Farmer, the National Best Female Farmer, the National Best Physically Challenged Farmer, the Overall National Best Fisher, the National Best Marine Fisher and the National Best Inland Fisher.
The rest are the National Best Fish Farmer, the National Best Fish Processor, the National Best Cocoa Farmer, the National Best Most Promising Young Cocoa Farmer, the National Best Most Enterprising Cocoa and the Female Farmer and National Best Shea Nut Picker.Regional/district levels
There would be five regional award categories per region.
They are the Regional Best Farmer, the Regional Best Livestock Farmer, the Regional Best Female Farmer, the Regional Best Fisher, and the Regional Physically Challenged Farmer.
The district-level celebrations are expected to be held in the 261 districts and each district would have three categories, namely the District Best Farmer, the District Best Livestock Farmer and the District Best Crop Farmer.