Mr James Obeng Boateng, a 60-year old Farmer from Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region has been crowned the National Best Farmer for 2018.
He was decorated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assisted by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) at the 34th National Farmers’ Day in Tamale on Friday and for his prize, Mr Obeng Boateng was presented with a cheque for GHȼ 480,000.00, being sponsorship package from the Agricultural Development Bank.
Mr Obeng Boateng, who is married with six children, has employed 102 people on his farms, spread across the Brong Ahafo Region, cultivating several hundreds of acres of roots and tubers, maize, cocoa, plantain, vegetables, as well as rearing goats, sheep and poultry amongst others.
Madam Charity Akotia, a 58-year old Farmer from the Central Region emerged First Runner up and took a Turbo Tractor as her prize.
She owns a 30-acre cocoa farm, 31 acre coconut farm and a total of 35 acres of plantain, cocoyam, sugarcane, cassava and vegetables farm.
Mr Alex Frempong Tenkorang, a 60-year old Farmer from Afram Plains was the second Runner up and received a double cabin pick-up from Stanbic Bank, amongst other packages.
In all, a total of 72 farmers were rewarded, including Regional Best Farmers for each of the 10 regions, the National Best Farmer for various categories including Cocoa, Cashew, Livestock, Fish Processor, Aquaculture, Marine, Inland, and National Best Youth Farmer.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, in an address, said the government would procure equipment and machinery worth 116 million dollars next year to revive the 168 existing Agricultural Mechanization and Services Centres across the country as well as establish new ones.
He said the machinery would be used for land preparation, planting, harvesting and processing of produce as part of efforts to mechanize agriculture in the country for increased production.
He said government was also constructing 80 new warehouses across the country, each with a capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes to help store the anticipated high yields as a result of heavy investment in agriculture this year.
He also assured that the construction and rehabilitation of various dams and dug-outs would continue next year to ensure all-year-round agricultural production, adding that, 100 acres of land would be put under irrigation as a result of the programme.
President Nana Akufo-Addo also spoke about the fisheries sector, saying the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs programme would be implemented next year to complement the Planting for Food and Jobs programme to improve the fishing industry in the country.
He said government’s interventions so far showed that it was on course to realizing its vision for the agricultural sector and helping the country beyond aid.