This year’s Volta Regional Farmers’ Day which was expected to attract thousands of people from across the region ended up being inches away from fiasco as it was heavily boycotted.
The event, which was held at the Jubilee Park in Ho, was badly patronised to the extent that even the dais where dignitaries were to sit had more than half the chairs empty.
Had it not been for the Police Band, award winners and their families, some staff of the Regional Agric office and some security personnel present, the event would have been held with no one sitting on the chairs.
For the first time in the history of the Jubilee Park, journalists who hitherto would have been standing or struggling with members of the public for space and chairs, had more than enough chairs to sit on.
Another interesting observation was that the Regional Minster, Henry Ford Kamel, had to wait for about one-and-a-half hours before the start of the programme, which was two hours behind time.
The hoisting of the national flag at the Jubilee Park was done about half way through the programme, long after the national anthem had been played.
The site was not only appalling but very uninspiring, as the award winners, who spoke to Daily Guide, noted that they were highly disappointed in the patronage and wondered what had gone wrong.
While some blamed it on the strike by civil servants, the majority blamed it on poor organisation.
Some of the award winners disclosed to Daily Guide that they were only informed a night to the event and so came unprepared.
Others also noted that there was not enough publicity for the event at least in the regional capital if not the entire region.
Others lamented about the items given to them, describing them as “woefully inadequate to advance their work”. Sources close to the Agriculture Ministry also admitted that the organisation of the programme had some challenges and bottlenecks.
“There is no doubt that the ongoing indefinite strike of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) has affected today’s programme,” the Regional Director of Agriculture, John Trakasu, lamented.
According to him, even some workers of the Agriculture Ministry in the region did not attend the programme.
He commended the 28 award winners for their dedication towards feeding the region.
Mr. Trakasu alias ‘Cowboy’ noted that the region’s agricultural produce had grown steadily for the past year.
He was hopeful that next year’s farmers’ day would be problem-free.
Mr Kamel commended the award winners and urged them to take advantage of the various government interventions designed to improve farming and fishing in the country.
He encouraged the award winners not to worry about the tokens but rather be concerned about the certificates, which he said could help them to secure loans from banks and other favours to advance their work.
Mr. Kamel also called on investors to consider the wind energy potential of the south eastern part of the region for irrigation and large scale farming.
A high point in the event was when the immediate former deputy Regional Minister, Col. Cyril Necku, was awarded as the best fish farmer in the cage culture category.
The overall best farmer for the region went to Wisdom Aglago from the North Tongu District.
He cultivates maize, cowpea, cassava, oil palm in addition to rearing cattle and local poultry.
Source: Fred Duodu, Ho
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