Mr. Philip Kwaku Agyemang of the Brong Ahafo Region has been honoured as the 2017-National Best Farmer.
He picked up a $100,000 cash prize at the 33rd National Farmers Day celebration at the Heroes Park in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, which was under the theme, ‘Farming for food and jobs’.
Mr. Philip kwaku Agyemen is a 50 year-old farmer from the Dormaa West District of the Brong –Ahafo Region of Ghana, Mr. Agyeman, noted to have attained only basic education. He has been a farmer for the past 28 years employing a total of 205 workers, comprising 97 full –time and 80 casuals with 28 assisting in the capacity of family relations. His farms are located with the Dormaa West District and other farming communities.
He owns 280 acres of farmland which includes 120 acres of cocoa. He cultivates crops and rears farm animals. In consistent with the principle of integration of farm operations, the leftover of his crops harvested are used as feed for the farm animals while other by-products of his oil palm processing serves as ingredients for his animals feed.
Mr. Agyeman’s farm is highly diversified with crops enterprises covering a broad area of root and tubers, (cassava and yam), cereals, vegetables, plantation crops, timbers spices. In terms of his animal’s enterprise, he has large ruminant (cattle), small ruminants (goats and sheep), exotic and local poultry birds, turkeys, ducks, guinea fowls, grass cutters as well as snails. Additionally Mr. Agyemen has several beehives and mushroom chambers and several fish ponds stocked with tilapia and catfish.
Mr. Agyemen has fairly good knowledge of the best crop and animal husbandry practices. He has over the years obtained his planting materials from MoFA. In terms of animal production, Mr. Agyemen has a good criteria for the selection of breeds of his animals, he release on the advice of veterinary officers for the best technical assistance.
Both runner-ups at the 2017 Farmers Day Celebration were women; Mabel Akoto Kudjoe from Hohoe in the Volta Region was honoured as the first runner-up, while Rebecca Ann Commey from the Greater Accra Region placed third.
In his address, President Nana Akufo-Addo noted that agriculture was seen to be on the brink of collapse as evidenced by its declining contributions to GDP but emphasised that his government was working to turn around the fortunes of Ghana’s once a vibrant sector.
‘The agriculture sector, which has been the mainstay of Ghana’s economy for years, currently contributes only 22 percent to the country’s GDP as I speak’ He added’.
Read the full speech of the President, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Below