The Nadowli-Kaleo District Assembly held its 39th edition of national farmers day celebration at Kanyini Community.

The DCE, Hon. Katherine Tieyiri Lankono addressed the audience and in her address, she said today is another year of celebration to recognize, honor and reward our gallant farmers and fisher folks. It is a great privilege and honor for me to join you once again to celebrate the 39th edition of the National Farmers’ Day here in Kanyini.

This statutory day was set up 35 years ago to honor and reward distinguished hard-working farmers, fisher folks, Institutions, Farmer Based Organizations, and all others, who during the year contributed immensely to increase agricultural production and productivity. I therefore stand on behalf of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to acknowledge and celebrate our gallant farmers and fisher folks who are not only farming to feed the growing population of Ghanaian, but also providing raw materials to feed the manufacturing sector of the Ghanaian economy.

I cannot proceed with my address without special salutations to all farmers in the Nadowli Kaleo District for their contribution to agricultural production and ensuring food security in the district and beyond.

The occasion of Farmers’ Day presents a great opportunity to remind ourselves of the need to stand in solidarity with our hardworking farmers whose sacrifices, perseverance, and tireless efforts ensure our sustenance. As a country, we cannot take for granted the constant supply of our food and nutritional needs by our farmers despite the numerous challenges they face.

The theme for this year’s Farmers’ Day celebration is captioned: “Delivering Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience”. Every single word in the theme is very significant. We are in the technological world hence the need for smart solutions to problems we encounter on daily basis. Thus, our proposed solutions to the challenges in Agriculture must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART).

She said, according to World Food Summit – 1996, food security has several elements in its meaning and attainments. We can only say we have food security when all these elements exist. That is, when all people, always, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Again, with the changing climate, our food producers must be resilient in adapting or mitigating against the adverse effects of climate change as well as engaging in other alternate livelihood options.

She said, we must all take advantage of Government Flagship Programmes such as the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’, Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), Rearing for Food and Jobs, 1 District, 1 Warehouse among other upcoming projects to improve our household incomes.

Under the Planting for Food and Jobs, the Nadowli-Kaleo District received 250 liters of various pesticides namely, “Adepa”, “Warrior super”, Zukadok and bypel to fight against Fall Army Worms during the farming season. I am also happy to announce that, as part of the government efforts to sustain the several flagship Programmes it started in 2017. His Excellency the President in August this year launched the second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative in Tamale.  The Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ 2.0) at its full implementation, is expected to change the face of Ghana’s agriculture. It is a five-year master plan for the renewal of agriculture in Ghana. It represents a new trajectory that will replace the input subsidy program with an input credit intervention designed to accelerate the development of agriculture through a value chain approach. With this in place, the slogan says, “all you need is land”. I therefore urge our teeming youth to embrace the programme to improve their livelihoods.

Under the Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme, forty-four thousand (44,000) cashew seedlings were raised at Sankana and distributed to 1,100 farmers (male: 770, females: 330) district-wide under the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project. In relation to that, two thousand (2,000) cassia seedlings were distributed to four hundred (400) beneficiaries (male: 140, female: 260) under the Greenery Ghana project. These are not only expected to create jobs for the teeming youth and unemployed graduates, but also ensure sustainable supply of raw materials to support governments decentralized industrialization drive through the “one-district, one-factory” initiative.

She said, under the one-District, one-Warehouse project, I am excited to announce that, the Charikpong warehouse is complete and will soon be handed-over to the National Buffer stock for its operationalization. In relation to that, the Sombo Warehouse which had part of its roof ripped-off was fixed this year. Some organizations have made requests to use the facility and, there are plans under the Planting for Food and Jobs Phase 2.0 for Aggregators to use the facility.

I wish to quickly plead with community members to be vigilant and protect government installations. We should begin to see government investments and interventions in our communities as our own. It is sad that a transformer which was installed at the Sombo Warehouse was dismantled by thieves and probably sold as scrap. That’s too bad for our forward match as a country.

She said, to protect our livestock, the government in collaboration with other partners in the ECOWAS sub-region, made available some vaccines to fight the “Pest of Small Ruminant” (PPR) to minimize the disease. Additionally, one motorbike was given to the Veterinary Unit last month which has been duly assigned to last year’s Best AEA, Mr. Abdulai Abdul-Aziz. It is hope that this would motivate him to do more for the district.

The department of agriculture has been very active and vibrant since 2017 and this has contributed to the successes chalked so far. The issue of lack of motorbikes for AEAs has become a thing of the past. In relation to that, I also wish to thank EU-REACH Project for supporting the Department of Agriculture with 4 strong and durable motorbikes to help in the extension delivery services. The department received another motorbike this year under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) program which has been assigned to Mr. Robert Ziemah to facilitate his extension work.

I wish to appeal to all to help in the fight against wildfires during this time. Let us protect our environment for our future generations. Bush fires destroy our economic trees (dawadawa, shea etc.), our game and wildlife, farm produce and the soil physical structure and vegetation. On Saturday, 18th of November, 2023, it was reported in the UPPER WEST MEDIA, that a 250-acre maize farm was destroyed by wildfire in the Hain community under Jirapa Municipality. These losses can be minimized if communities can champion Anti-Bushfire campaigns.

She said, the Government alone cannot shoulder the development of Agriculture in the district. I wish to acknowledge the support of all Development Partners in Agriculture, notably GIZ-MOAP, EU-REACH, USAID-RING II, USAID- Market System & Resilience, USAID-POLICY LINK, WFP, MEDA etc. for their continuous support. 

Today also marks World AIDS Day. It is a global event to unite people in response to HIV and AIDS. It also provides the opportunity to raise awareness on HIV and demonstrate solidarity with persons living with, and affected by HIV, as well as those who have died from AIDS-related causes.

The global theme released by the UNAIDS for this year’s event is Let Communities Lead. This is a call to give voice to communities of persons living with and working on the national response at the community levels, urge everyone to work together, build on community strengths and local leadership, identify goals, and set targets that will address critical issues holding back progress towards ending AIDS. As part of activities to commemorate the 2023 World AIDS Day, the Nadowli-Kaleo District Assembly has put in place Free HIV Testing and Counselling services. Let us all make it a point to get tested, and the time to do so is now. There is a team with us here in Kanyini carrying out the testing and counselling, so let us all make it to their desk before we leave this ground.

Inconclusion, let me take this opportunity to congratulate all award winners and I urge them to aspire for Regional and National awards. To all other farmers who were vetted but could not win, I urge them to continue to work harder and never to lose hope, for their stars may shine one day.

I also wish to acknowledge the Chief and people of Kanyini for hosting us for this very important occasion designed to celebrate our gallant farmers. The efforts of the Director and Staff of the Agriculture departments and the entire planning committee cannot be overemphasized. They have worked behind the scenes for several months and weeks so that this occasion is successfully organized.

On this note, I wish you all a Happy Farmers Day Celebration. I also wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance.

Long live our Gallant Farmers!

Long live Nadowli-Kaleo District!

Long live our Mother Ghana!

May the Almighty God Bless us all!