Mr Cephas Dabou Eremong, the Wa West District Director of Agriculture, has observed that political interference in selecting award-winning farmers in the National Farmers’ Day celebration, could defeat the objective of the initiative.
He said if some farmers suspected that the selection for the awards were based on political lines, favouritism or inducement, they would not be encouraged to work hard towards genuinely winning an award in subsequent years.
“Politicians should give us the space to work, to motivate the farmers so that every farmer will put in his or her best, with the hope of emerging winner next time,” Mr Eremong told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Wechiau.
“If we give the award to someone who does not deserve it the pressure and criticism come to me as the agric director, so I will plead with the politicians and my Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs), that they should not be collecting gifts from people (farmers) and tell me to give them awards,” he added.
He explained that actors in all sectors of the national economy including bankers, doctors, nurses, and teachers depended on agricultural production to be able to do their work, hence the need to take actions that would encourage people to venture into agriculture.
The Director indicated that plans were advanced for the celebration of the 2023 National Farmers’ Day in the Wa West District, which was expected to take place at the Tokali community.
Mr Eremong said his office had proposed 25 farmers to the District Assembly to be awarded on the National Farmers’ Day in the district.
He, however, criticised the District Assembly for its delay in releasing the funds needed to undertake activities to mark the celebrations.
Mr Eremong said the delay was frustrating the department in organising the event.
This year’s National Famers’ Day, which marked its 39th edition, is on the theme: “Delivering Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience,” and would be held on Friday, December 1, 2023.
Speaking on the theme, Mr Eremong explained that the current changing trend in agriculture demanded new approaches and smart solutions for success in farming.
He said farming was not just about cultivating many acres of farmlands, but applying smart solutions, new approaches, techniques and extension advice to reap maximum output on the field.
“It’s all about adopting technologies, following the advice you receive from the AEAs, and don’t say you have cultivated 100 acres, what did you get out of those 100 acres?
“Somebody can farm one acre and harvest more than what you harvest from the 100 acres.”
Mr Eremong , stressed that ‘Smart’ agriculture was not about acreages, but applying modern and appropriate technology, to improve product quality and increase production at harvest time.