The Sunyani West Municipal Directorate of Agriculture is working with farmers to enhance mobility and numbers for improved agricultural productivity in the Municipality, Mr Martin Obeng, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), has said.

He said this year (2019), the Directorate made 384 homes and field visits to disseminate improved technology trainings and demonstrations on both crops and livestock.

In addition, a total of 3,121 farmers were trained in various improved technologies geared at introducing modern technologies and planting materials to reduce the labour of farmers and increase acreages and yields of crops as well as adding value to the products.

Mr Obeng was speaking at the Municipality’s celebration of the 35th edition of the National Best Farmers’ Day held under the theme: “Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture Towards Agribusiness Development” at Nsoatre in the Bono Region.

He said the Agriculture Directorate organised plant clinic sessions at Mantukwa and Tanom, farming communities in the Municipality to train farmers on how to follow proper agronomic practices to curb and reduce pest infestations on their farms.

Mr Obeng said as part of measures to transfer appropriate technology to farmers to boost agriculture in the Municipality, government has provided a Nissan double-cabin pick-up vehicle and 17 motorbikes to the Agriculture Directorate, while 13 Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) have been employed to add up to the existing 12 to make the number 25.

The MCE said among the efforts to encourage farmers to grow cash crops and processing to supplement their incomes, the Assembly under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) Programme distributed 20,000 improved cashew seedlings in 2018 and 140,000 in 2019 to farmers in the Municipality.

To that effect, the AEAs have been resourced to effectively monitor and supervise farmers to plant the seedlings according to proper agronomic practices to attain high survival rate, he said.

Mr Obeng suggested the need for especially cereals and cocoa farmers to participate in the cultivation of cashew because the gestation period is shorter and its output too is high enough to significantly increase family incomes.

Meanwhile the Municipality honoured 10 farmers of different categories for their outstanding production and best farming practices.

Besides the overall best, first and second runner-ups, there were also best crop, livestock, fish, physically-challenged and female farmers as well as best youth in agriculture and best vegetable farming group (cooperative).

Ms Vida Yaa Tabiri, 43, and a native of Nsoatre who is not only food, cash crops and fish farmer but also owns a great number of livestock and poultry was crowned the Municipal Best Farmer.

She received an Apsonic Motorbike, a spraying machine, a radio set, a wellington boot, bar soaps, a cutlass (crocodile machete) and a half piece of cloth.

Ms Tabiri later told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that her late father introduced her into farming after completion of Junior Secondary (High) School in the early 1990s, since then “I have endured the associated challenges which has culminated to my recognition as the Best Farmer in the Municipality this year”.

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