President John Dramani Mahama on Friday announced that government would turn around the agricultural sector to increase and improve incomes of farmers to step up production.
To achieve this, he said government had acquired a 95-million-dollar financial facility, to support all sectors of Agriculture, Fisheries and Acquaculture, to reduce import bills.
President Mahama disclosed this when he addressed the 30th National Farmers' Day at Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western Region on the theme:"Eat What You Grow."
The programme was attended by award winners and previous winners, Ministers of State, Traditional Authorities, Religious Leaders, Farmers' Associations and members of the Business Community.
President Mahama said the facility would support farmers in machinery, inputs, extension services, vehicles and other support services, to achieve their targets in the coming years.
He said government was appreciative of the theme: 'Eat What You Grow, ' in view of the fact that government was doing everything possible to reduce importation of food that the country has comparative advantage in.
President Mahama said government would also educate farmers to adopt modern farming technologies, by availing workable services that would scale up production in the country.
He encouraged Ghanaians to take up farming as business, and not a way of life, as it has been perceived in the past.
He announced that a total of 150 million dollars had been set aside for the construction and improvement of feeder roads in cocoa-producing areas.
Mr Fiifi Kwetey, Minister of Food and Agriculture, congratulated farmers, especially those who picked awards at the celebration, and gave the assurance that government would ensure there was food sufficiency for both the country and for export.
He said Ghana spends over 1.5 billion dollars annually on the importation of food, and therefore, investment in the sector can ensure food sufficiency and job creation in the coming years.
Mr Kwetey said government would work closely with farmers, by creating financial support for them, to step up agribusiness in the country.
He said Africa has the challenge of feeding the entire world in the coming decades, because of the sufficient arable lands, adding that Ghana would take advantage of the opportunity to harness all opportunities.
Madam Hanny-Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Fisheries and Acquaculture, urged Ghanaians to invest in fisheries and Acquaculture.
She said, the Ministry would institute an award on Acquaculture, and urged corporate community to support them to achieve the feat in next year's awards day celebration.
Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, commended the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for choosing to organize the 2014 National Farmers' Day in the Western Region.
He, however, appealed to government to construct various feeder roads in the region, considering the fact that it was a leading producer of both cash crops and food crops.
Mr George Asamoah Amankwa, a 49-year old man who emerged as the 2014 best farmer, received 100,000 dollars to put up a house at his place of choice, while Nana Obeng Wiako the third, of Upper Denkyira and Mr Yaw Gyan from Wenchi, placed second and third respectively.
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