Agric Minister, Owusu Afriyie Akoto
Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto

The 35th Edition of the National Farmers’ Day has been launched in Accra, with an assurance from government to reap more benefits from the numerous interventions and initiatives in the sector.

Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the bumper harvest recorded by farmers in 2018 is evidence of the support given to the sector by government.

He added that government’s strategy is to build capacity on all fronts, to enhance the adoption of technologies to boost food production and expand the raw material base of industries.

This year’s event would be held under the theme: “Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture towards Agribusiness Development”.

According to the Minister, 2018 a clear example and not a mere coincidence as some will believe.

He said other achievements within the space of two and half years include the procurement of hand-held equipment and other farm machinery to ensure production efficiency at the farm level and reduce drudgery of small holder farmers.

On plans to encourage youth participation in the sector, the Minister said, the Ministry through its Greenhouse initiative has established training centres to equip the youth with modern technological skills to encourage the production of vegetables.

The intervention, he said, was aimed at promoting vegetable production and youth entrepreneurship with prospects of high earning incomes through the export of vegetables.

He added that it will also help to attain self-sufficiency in vegetable production and reduce importation with its adverse effect on the country’s balance of payment.

Dr. Afriyie Akoto said ultimately the promotion of Greenhouse technology would give meaning to the agenda of commercializing and transforming agriculture into a modern and competitive enterprise.

The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Francis Ato Codjoe called for a paradigm shift that would ensure that the sector moves from its current subsistence and supply-driven approach to a business-centered and demand-driven one.

He said this would ensure an improvement in employment, increment in household incomes, facilitate rural development as well as ensure national food security.

The Minister said the Fisheries Ministry would continue to implement policies and strategies that would not only transform the sector but also improve the capacity of Small Scale fishers.

The Farmers Day celebration, which was introduced by the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council government in 1985, is aimed at recognising the vital role played by farmers and fishers in the country’s economy.