The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, has called for the need for a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive food production system that would stimulate job creation whilst delivering the keynote address during the farmers’ day celebration held at a newly constructed Bukom Astroturf Park located in the heart of Gamashie.
“Agriculture until recently has always been the main driver of our national economy and will remain important for years to come. Hence it is essential to create awareness and encourage citizens to venture to into backyard farming.”, he said.
As part of efforts to promote agriculture in the city, i.e. urban farming, Mr Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah declared that Agricultural Extension Agents (A.E.A) had been engaging farmers in the Metropolis to promote alternative farming methods such as backyard and home garden practices. He added that the Assembly had begun cultivating vegetables such as lettuces, spring onions in an A-frame structure placed on the rooftop of the City Hall.
The Metro Director of Food and Agriculture, Dr Charles Edem Etse, who was at the event said the theme for the celebration: “Ensuring Agribusiness Development under COVID-19 – Opportunities and Challenges” imposes a duty on all citizens to help ensure that their self-reliance encompasses agriculture.
He intimated that in a bid to overcome the challenge of loss of fertile farm-lands due to urbanization, the AMA Department of Agriculture had assisted several households to establish home gardens adding that several inhabitants were now eating what they had grown in their backyards.
“The days of ‘operation feed yourself’ are back here with us again in Accra. As we continue to intensify our efforts at encouraging a lot more people to utilize their backyards productively, we urge all who desire to do so to contact the Agricultural Extension Officers in their areas or the Agriculture Office for technical assistance,” he said.
Dr. Etse also called for the creation of cottage industries for processing to add value to the food produced to reduce post-harvest losses and enhance the incomes of farmers and fishermen.
At the ceremony, a 45-year-old dispatch rider with the Accra Central Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, Corporal John Henry Moffatt, was adjudged the Best Livestock farmer in the Accra Metropolis. John Henry Moffatt who is married with five children had been engaging in farming since 2016. He is into poultry production with 1005 broilers and 300 layers. He also rears goats, pig, guinea fowl under strict hygienic condition. John Henry Moffatt was awarded 10 drinkers and feeders, assorted veterinary drugs, vegetable seeds and agrochemicals, a knapsack sprayer, spades as well as cutlasses, and a certificate.
Mr. Richard Edwin Webb, a 50-year old man, was also adjudged the overall best farmer in the metropolis. He cultivates pawpaw, blue flower, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, bell pepper, pigeon pea and has five ducks, 200 broilers, 600 layers as well as four goats. He was awarded a battery cage system, a knapsack sprayer, assorted vegetable seeds, and agrochemicals, watering can, cutlasses, wheelbarrows, a pair of Wellington boots, and spades.
Other awardees included Madam Yvonne Adutwum-Ofosu (Best Backyard Gardener), Mr. Francis Anum Lartey (Best Poli Fisherman), Mr. Emmanuel Quaye (Best Hook and Line Fisherman), Madam Emelia Adjin- Tettey (Best fish processor), Madam Joyce Mensah Kwaw (Agro Processor), Mr. Moro Nuhu (Best Crop Farmer) and Mr. Alfred Wilson (Best A.E.A).
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