The Agricultural Development Bank (adb) has officially handed over a three-bedroom fully- furnished house to the 2015 National Best Farmer, Ibrahim Musa at Asufufu-Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region as his ultimate prize.
The house has a living room, dining hall, kitchen, store and a garage as well as paved compound and landscaped with grass lawns. This is the 15th house adb has presented to the National Best Farmers since 2001 the Bank became the main sponsor of the annual awards event.
The National Best Farmers’ Awards programme was introduced after the 1983 drought and hunger. It has since been used as a ‘marshal plan’ to help encourage the public to take up farming so as to improve agricultural production in the country.
At the handing over ceremony, Mr. Daniel Asiedu, Managing Director of adb, said the bank as the headline sponsor of the annual awards programme has been setting aside cedi equivalent of US$100,000 every year for the construction of the a fully-furnished three-bedroom house at a preferred location for the ultimate winner.
“I believe that the provision of 15 houses to the ultimate prize winners since 2001 has encouraged Ghanaians to develop a keen interest in farming and has helped to boost food production. I am also of a firm conviction that through this laudable initiative, many Ghanaians now view farming as profession positively,” Mr. Asiedu observed.
He noted that the Bank is partnering government and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to support various financially viable projects in the entire agriculture value chain, including the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative.
He urged farmers to step up their efforts in improving the status of agriculture in the country.
Dr. Nurah Gyiele, Minister of State in charge of Food and Agriculture pledged government’s commitment to create a ‘conducive investment environment’ and support for farmers. He recounted the distribution of subsidized agricultural machinery, 50% subsidized fertilizers and improved seeds as well as provision of other inputs as incentives to encourage farmers to increase production and productivity in the agricultural sector.
Dr. Gyiele commended adb for its exemplary support to the development of agriculture in the country and urged other banks to emulate adb’s drive. “This is an agrarian economy, and it is when the agricultural sector develops that incomes will grow for higher levels of savings and investment from the public.”
The 2015 National Best Farmer, Ibrahim Musa expressed profound gratitude to the government and adb for the ‘honour’ done him, saying the prize will spur him on to increase his stake in agriculture. He advised the youth to embrace agriculture as a low hanging fruit to transform their fortunes.