This year’s National Farmers’ Day (NFD) celebration will be re-modelled to reflect and showcase better contribution of the farmers and fisher folks as well as the developments in the agriculture sector.

To that effect, a committee comprising of technical experts from relevant national organisations have been tasked to re-model the NFD celebration, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior Minister said.

Mr Osafo-Maafo who was speaking at the launch of the 33rd NFD celebration in Accra said, economy like that of Ghana depended heavily on the success of the agricultural sector, yet the allocation in the national budget to support that sector was minimal.

He said achieving sustainable food security in Ghana within the context of a phenomenal growth in population and increasing unemployment was a challenge to the country’s development.

He said the government was posed to embark on the most comprehensive economic transformation agenda for industrial transformation to be anchored on four thematic areas, namely, Macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability; Infrastructural Development; Accelerated Industrial Development, and Agricultural Transformation.

The 33rd NFD celebration will be celebrated on Friday December 1, 2017 on the theme, “Planting for Food and Jobs”.

Mr Osafo-Maafo noted that agricultural transformation was key in the transformational agenda, therefore, besides setting the day aside to recognize the country’s hard working farmers and fisher folks, the government continued to provide conducive investment environment and support to the farmers.

“The distribution of agricultural machinery at subsidized prices to farmers, the recent 50 per cent fertilizer and Seed subsidy and the provision of input on credit under the ‘Planting for Food and Job’ to farmers for the production of maize, rice and sorghum, soya bean and vegetables in expanded programmes.

“’The One Village, One Dam project’, the construction of warehouses in many districts and the ‘One District, One Factory’ programme to foster agro processing were all aimed at encouraging our farmers to increase production and productivity in the Agricultural Sector,” he added.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said the agricultural sector needed to be supported to ensure food security, promote agro business as well as enhance the income of the farmers.

He was grateful to the corporate sponsors over the years and urged the members of the banking fraternity to join hands with the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), which has been sponsoring the National Best Farmer slot since the inception of the celebration.

He also called on fertilizer and Oil and Gas companies and other corporate bodies to come and support this year’s NFD celebration.

“It is important to make the farmer look good while we recognize their contributions to the development of the country. We must therefore go all out to make the celebration a success,” he added.

Dr Nurah Gyele, Minister of State at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Chairman of the 2017 NFD Planning Committee, appealed to corporate bodies to patronize the four categories of sponsorship.

He said the Bronze Sponsor category, which starts from GHC10,000.00 and below would get acknowledgement in the media, special certificate of sponsorship at the Sponsors’ Awards Night as well as photo opportunity for presentation of packages to the Minister for Food and Agriculture for the media.

Silver sponsor, starting from GHC10,000.00 to GHC 30,000.00 will also get acknowledgement in the media; advertise company’s logo on sponsor’s billboard at the durbar ground for telecast, special certificate of sponsorship at the Sponsors’ Awards Night and photo opportunity for presentation of packages to the Minister for Food and Agriculture for the media.

The Gold Sponsor category starts from GHC30,000.00 to GHC50,000.00 and in addition to the four benefits above they will advertise their company logo in event brochure and a half page colour print company advert with felicitation message to farmers and fishers in the National Farmers Day Brochure.

Platinum sponsors will get acknowledgement in the media, advertise company’s logo on sponsors’ billboard at the durbar for telecast, and advertise company logo in event brochure, plague and special certificate of sponsorship at the Sponsors’ Awards Night.

The rests are full page colour print company advert with felicitation message to farmers and fishers in the National Farmers’ Day brochure, photo opportunity for presentation of packages to the Minister for Food and Agriculture for the media, and branding of some sections of the principal route to and outside perimeter of durbar ground.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture, said he was grateful to God for giving them the opportunity to launch the day after few delays and urged the corporate bodies and individuals to support the event.

Madam Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, said any fish caught illegally was a bad fish and urged the public to “say no to bad fish”.

She said the country’s fish stock continue to deplete as a result of bad practices and appealed to fisher folks to desist from such practices to replenish the fish stock.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh