Today marks another milestone in the annual celebration of our farmers, since 1985 after the devastating and poor harvest of crops in 1982 and 1983 crop seasons.Farmers Day was instituted in 1985 by the Ghana government after the industries showed a 30 percent growth in 1984. This was a significant improvement over 1982 and 1983, years the country suffered a severe drought. The first Farmers Day was celebrated in Osino, located in the Eastern Region of Ghana, where the drought was most severe Agriculture has long been referred to the backbone of every Nation both developed and the developing. Ghana’s is not an exception.
Ghana prides itself as the second producer of cocoa in the world and best in terms of cocoa bean quality. Averagely, every household has a farmer and many rural populations are agrarian. This year’s event is hosted by the Northern Regional capital, Tamale, under the theme, “Agriculture; Ghana beyond aid’’. In recent years, the contribution of agriculture to GDP has not been significant however there is a significant growth in the sector in 2017 from a 2016 growth of 2.9 to 6.1 in 2017.
The growth couldn’t have been achieved without the effort by both government and the farmers. The fisheries subsector is however suffering a sharp decline from the 2016 growth of 3.1 to – 1.4 in 2017. This sector needs to be taken serious under the flagship policies of government in order to sustain the protein levels need of the Ghanaian population. A small improvement (5.4 to 5.7) though insignificant has been recorded in the livestock subsector. Hopefully, we hope to see more improvement (Data source; 2019 Budget statement, Ghana Statistical Service and Ministry of Finance). Lastly, as we observe this beautiful day, the welfare of the farmer shouldn’t be neglected.
More motivation in the area of life and health insurance, viable seeds, mechanized equipments and financing packages can be a source of significant inroads to improve yields by farmers. To our farmers, on this day, be motivated by the words of James .H. Douglas Jnr which state, “our deep respect for the land and its harvest is the legacy of generations of farmers who put food on our tables, preserved our landscape and inspired us with powerful work ethic”.
Ayekoo!!! Our gallant farmers
Haruna Gado Yakubu (Research Fellow, ILAPI, Tema, Ghana)