The Nadowli-Kaleo District Assembly held its 38th edition of national farmers day celebration at Sankana.

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.

As we are gathered here in Sankana to celebrate the district level version of this very important National event, Regional and National celebrations are also going on in Nandom and Koforidua respectively. I stand here on behalf of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana to acknowledge and celebrate our gallant farmers and fisher folks who are not only farming to feed the growing population of Ghanaians, but also providing raw materials to feed our factories.

I also want to salute all farmers in the Nadowli-Kaleo District for their contribution to agricultural production and also ensuring food security in the district and beyond. It is worth noting the important role the agriculture department and our development partners are playing towards uplifting agriculture production in the district.

According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, the Nadowli-Kaleo District has a population of Seventy-Seven Thousand and Fifty-Seven (77,057) made up of 48 percent males and 52 percent females with a total area of 2,742km2. The main stay of the people is agriculture with about 85 percent of the people engaged in the cultivating of food crops and rearing of animals.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Accelerating Agricultural Development Through Value Addition”. This is appropriate and timely as the government is working hard to turn the economy from an import driven to export driven economy. One of the ways that, this can happen is adding value to an agricultural product beyond the farm gate. This, if properly done is capable of raking in several millions of dollars into the economy thereby creating employment for the theming youth.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture through the Department of Agriculture is making strategic effort to process staples that are usually lost to post harvesting by supplying the raw material needs of companies under the One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) initiative. In this regard, the district department of agriculture is implementing a number of projects and programs as interventions aimed at accelerating agricultural development. I can confidently report that, crop yields are good, and most farmers are busily engaged in the harvesting of groundnuts, cowpea, maize, and soya beans.

This year, a total of eleven thousand two hundred (11,200) bags of fertilizer were brought into the district through the open market, out of which 8,960 bags were NPK and 2,240 bags were urea covering 896 farmers district wide.

The government of Ghana is keen on controlling the spread of pests and diseases. As a result, the department received 130 liters of various quantities of pesticides such as adepa, zukadok, warrior super and bypel. All these pesticides were duly distributed to affected farmers across the district.

To improve and beautify the landscape, two thousand (2,000) acasia seedlings were raised and distributed to interested individuals (Male: 140, Female: 260 Total: 400) under the Greenery Ghana project. This is not only expected to improve the landscape, but also mitigate the effect of climate change and enhance soil fertility.

Mr. Chairman, To increase farmers’ access to improved technologies, eight (8) on-farms demonstrations were established ranging from legume strip cropping, cereal legume rotation, comparison of liquid organic and chemical fertilizer. Furthermore, the department in collaboration with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), carried out crop demonstrations at the premises of the Agric department office in Nadowli. Technologies showcased include; fertilizer application regime, groundnut spacing as well as maize leafing. A total of 425 farmers (Male: 298 Female: 127) benefitted from these demonstrations.

As part of effort to encourage the utilization of soya among farm households. The department of agriculture through the Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD) unit organized a three-day practical training in three communities namely; Samatigu, Nyimbali and Duong to educate farmers on nutrition and how most of the produce are of benefit if incorporated into our dishes. The farmers were taken through the preparation of soya khebab, soya milk, soya T.Z, soya koose and soya tubani.

Furthermore, to provide technical backstopping and disseminate Good Agricultural Practices as well as identify farmers’ constraints in the area of crops and livestock, a total of 3,248 (Male: 2,274, Female: 974) homes and farms visit were made across the district.

 It is important to note that, data on extension is expected to improve as two new staff have been recruited and posted to the District (one extension & one veterinary).

On vaccination and prophylactic treatment of animals, 512 dogs and 41 cats were vaccinated against rabies whilst 1,132 domestic fowls were vaccinated against Newcastle.

Thank God the slaughterhouse is operational, 55 cattle, 32 sheep and 120 goats were slaughtered under strict public health condition.

In the area of clinical treatment, 10 goats were treated against dystocia, 15 goats treated against profuse diarrhea and 22 animals against festering wounds.

The Market-Oriented Agricultural Program (GIZ-MOAP) is a German government project. They provide support services in the production of quality produce along the agricultural value chain to meet international standards. They train both agricultural officers and farmers in Good Agronomic Practices. This year, they have set up a number of demonstration fields across the district such as Takpo, Dunjagu and Baadabuo.

I want to thank our gallant farmers of the district for the unrelenting efforts to feed the district and beyond. We know and feel the challenges farmers encounter in recent times in terms of rising cost of farm inputs and its overall impact on production. The government of the day is working tirelessly to stabilize the economy and bring back subsidy regimes for fertilizer and other farm inputs.

 I would like to conclude by reminding all of us that today also happens to be World AIDs Day. HIV/AIDs continue to be a threat to our productivity as humans.

 Even though we are gradually reversing its spread, there is still more work to be done.  Let us bear in mind that being diagnosed with the disease is not a death sentence as you can live a normal life. Likewise, knowing that you are HIV negative will influence your lifestyle positively. We should therefore endeavor to get tested, and the time to do so is now!

In conclusion, let me acknowledge the Nadowli-Kaleo District Department of Agriculture, the Farmers’ Day Planning Committee as well as the Chiefs and good people of Sankana community for the tremendous effort put in place which resulted into these awards for our respectable farmers. Thank you and God bless us all.