QUE: 1 WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE FARMERS’ DAY CELEBRATION?
ANS: “Farmers’ Day” was instituted by the Government in 1985 in recognition of the vital role farmers and fishers play in the economy especially the highly commendable output of farmers and fishermen in 1984, (about 30% growth), after the bad agricultural years of 1982 and 1983. The day is celebrated to motivate them to produce more.
The first National Farmers’ Day was celebrated on Friday, December 1986, at Osino in the Eastern Region.
The package to the first best farmer was made up of two Machetes, a pair of Wellington boots and a preset radio. Ever since the value of the awards has improved from year to year, moving from bicycle to power tillers to tractors, to pick-ups and presently to a 3-bedroom house since 2002.
QUE: 2. WHO ARE THE KEY PLAYERS IN THE CELEBRATION?
ANS: These include farmers, fishermen, agro-processors, researchers, donors of awards, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Fisheries Commission and financial institutions, Agricultural Input distributors and other service providers.
QUE: 3. WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE THEMES FOR THE CELEBRATIONS SINCE THE 1990s?
1990 – Increased Agricultural Production for a Better Tomorrow
1991 – Sustained Agricultural Production, Hallmark of the 31st December Revolution
1992 – Agriculture and the Ghanaian Economy Eleven Years in Retrospect
1993 – An Efficient Marketing System A Booster to Sustained Agricultural and Industrial Growth
1994 – Food Preservation for Price Stability
1995 – Scientific Farming for Higher Productivity
1996 – The Human Resource A Crucial Factor in Agricultural Development
1997 – Sustainable Food Security A Challenge to the Youth
1998 – Empowering the Youth for Accelerated Agricultural Growth
1999 – Effective Marketing Promotes Agricultural Production
2000 – Processing of Agricultural Produce The Way Forward
2001 – Let Us Grow What We Eat, Eat What We Grow and Can What We Cannot
2002 – Modernising Agriculture to Enhance Rural Development
2003 – Enhancing Agricultural Productivity and Food Security Through Improved Agri-Business
2004 – Food Safety and Improved Nutrition for a Healthy and Active Nation
2005 – Agricultural Production and Productivity the Key to Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction
2006 – The Youth Employment Program: An Avenue for Sustaining Agricultural Development
2007 – Ghana @ 50: Progress and Challenges of Sustainable Agricultural Development
2008 – Globalisation: Its effects on Agricultural Production in Ghana.
2009 – Accelerated Agricultural Modernization for Food Security and Economic Transformation
2010 – Grow More Food:
QUE: 4 WHAT IS THE THEME FOR THIS YEARS CELEBRATION?
ANS. “Grow more food: Research for Sustainable Agriculture Development”
This theme was chosen to make the populace be aware and to address the recent developments on the global and domestic agricultural sector such as the rising cost of inputs (fuel, seeds, fertilizers, fishing nets and agricultural machinery) as well as the rising food prices that posed significant threats to Ghana’s macro-economic stability and overall development.
However, through persistent and consistent research innovations and adoptions by farmers and fishers eg. Tilapia fish farming in cages, Ghana’s agricultural situation has been stabilized so far.
QUE. 5. DO THE FARMERS AND FISHERS APPLY FOR THESE NOBLE PRIZES?
ANS. The farmer and fisherman do not apply for prizes but are dully selected on merit based on the criteria and the procedures described earlier.
QUE. 6. WHAT IS EXPECTED IMPACT OF THESE CELEBRATIONS?
ANS. With support from these awards, the gallant farmers and fishers are determined to learn lessons from the past, improve upon their performance to enable them facilitate the growth and development of the agricultural and fisheries sectors and contributed their quota to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
QUE. 7. WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR GHANA’S AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT?
a) Our Aim:
To make agriculture and fisheries capable of supporting food and industrial raw material needs of the country on sustainable basis and contribute to employment generation and improved balance of payments.
b) Our Focus:
The Government’s focus with respect to modernizing agriculture and fisheries has not changed and it includes the following:
- Improve upon the country’s basic agricultural and fisheries infrastructure, especially the irrigation systems, rural road network, storage and warehousing support to fish farming etc.
- Better organized farmers and fishers into Farmer-or Fishers-Based Organisations (FBOs).
- Provide easier access to inputs and finance (e.g. on concessionary basis).
- Encourage diversification of the production base
- Promote value addition
- Improve access to markets
- Make information readily available to farmers and fishers and other agricultural stakeholders.
Events in the Regions and Districts:
The climax is holding of regional and district durbars at which there are exhibitions of agricultural produce, machinery and other inputs and awards of prizes to deserving farmers, fishermen and service providers.