The Ministry of Food and Agriculture in collaboration with the Scholarship Secretariat sponsored the 2018 National Farmers Day Award Winners on a week-long training tour to Casablanca, Morocco.
The programme was aimed at enhancing the capacity of participating farmers and also to help expose them to modern forms of farming as well as explore business opportunities and collaborations.
Why the Tour
The awardees numbering about 27 on Sunday left the Kotoka International Airport for the Moroccan capital where they were expected to engage in series of events including visiting farming sites and fertilizer assembling plants owned by the leading global giants OCP Company Limited.
Briefing the media on the tour, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the programme was a further demonstration of the "government's commitment towards improving the capacity of Ghanaian farmers and the agricultural sector in general."
He said this was the first time winners were sponsored outside the country to build their capacity adding that the government would continue to invest in the farmers for a good return.
The Minister pointed out that apart from the training tour, the government, through the Scholarship Secretariat, had already offered scholarship packages to all the award winners and their workers.
Dr. Akoto expressed the hope that the tour would offer the farmers the chance to build networks and explore opportunities that would help them to expand their businesses back home.
"It is the vision of this government to transform the country's agriculture and improve the human resource capacity of farmers.
“This is why since 2017 we have deliberately invested huge sums of money to provide farmers with access to improved seeds, fertilizers, extension services and access to markets," he emphasized.
Dr Akoto recalled that earlier this year President Nana Addo Dankwa AKufo-Addo released GHȻ2million to the Scholarship Secretariat to implement the first phase of the Presidential Farmers Scholarship scheme.
The Scheme which covers 120 people, made up of the 24 award winners of the 2018 National Best Farmer Awards, two of their children or wards and two of their workers.
The scholarships are for local tertiary programmes, ranging from first degree to PhD, in any agricultural subject of their choice. This gesture was a further testimony of the government’s commitment to make agriculture attractive to all, especially the youth.