Mr. Benjamin Adjei Adjetey, the 2010 National Best Farmer has received his prize of a three-bed-room fully furnished house from the Government with the support of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).
The prize is part of the package he won as the best farmer which included, a 15 KVA perking generator, a fully sponsored round trip to attend an agricultural show, a comprehensive life insurance cover amongst others.
Presenting the keys to the house at Oyibi, in the Adentan Constituency of the Greater Accra Region, Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister for Food and Agriculture (MOFA) indicated how the National Best Farmer Award has improved from a cutlass, a pair of wellington boots and a radio set awarded to the Single Commodity Award Winners at its inception in 1985 through to a single cabin pick-up, double cabin pick-up or fully mounted tractors to the now soft-furnished three bedroom house.
He said, in 2001, the National Farmers’ Day Award landscape changed when ADB decided to sponsor ad infinitum, the provision of a soft-furnished 3–bedroom house for the National Best Farmers and since then additions to the soft furnishing have been added on with time.
Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi used the opportunity to acknowledge the singular role of ADB to the metamorphosis of the award scheme. He also acknowledged the contributions of the numerous companies, institutions and individuals who have provided attractive prizes that have enriched the awards given to the hardworking and deserving farmers and fishers each year.
According to the Minister, besides the awards to the farmers and fishers, government through MOFA has introduced interventions and programmes aimed at encouraging farmers to enhance production and productivity and output in the agriculture sector such as the Fertilizer and Seed Subsidy Programme, and the Premix Subsidy.
He added that, government has made provision for a subsidy of 176,000 metric tons of liquid and granular fertilizer valued at GH¢120.3 million and 151,000 metric tons of certified seed also valued at GH¢4.8 million in addition to the subsidization of premix fuel and outboard motors to the fishers.
Mr. Stephen Kpordzih, Managing Director of ADB, in his welcome address, said, ADB in line with its primary objective as a bank, has through its funding over the years, contributed in producing many successful farmers and fishermen.
He said, to complement the ADB’s financing activities in favour of agriculture and related operations, the ADB embraced the National Farmers’ Day Celebration and its Award Scheme, which it sees as a useful policy tool for promoting the welfare of the hardworking farmers and fishermen and the boosting of agricultural production.
Mr. Kpordzih, further indicated that, the ADB, therefore regards its sponsorship of the National Best Farmer Celebration and its Award Scheme as a social responsibility that it owes to the welfare of the farmers and fishermen all over the country, and also sharing in the government’s view of the need to provide adequate prizes to the award winning farmers and fishermen.
Mr. Ibrahim Adam, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ADB, on his part, emphasized that, it was the hope of the ADB when it accepted to sponsor the first prize of the National Best Farmer Award Scheme, that the winners would select sites within the communities where they operate, to serve as a strong incentive to other farmers in their communities.
He indicated that, the ADB was happy that, Mr. Benjamin Adjei Adjetey has met this important criterion by selecting a site in Oyibi, where his farm is.
Mr. Ibrahim Adam, entreated subsequent winners to follow the likes of Mr. Benjamin Adjei Adjetey 2010 National Best Farmer, Mr. Mohammed Tetteh Akpah, 2006 National Best Farmer and Alhaji Abdul Salam Akate, 2007 National Best Farmer, who have their prize houses sited in Oyibi, Prampram and Adako-Jachie respectively.