By Philip Tengzu
Zingu, (UW/R), Dec. 01, GNA – Mr Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah, the Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture, has indicated that the region was highly endowed with abundance of human, land, water and other natural resources for accelerated economic development.
He therefore encouraged the people to tap into the vast potential and utilise it for their benefit.
Mr Yeboah gave the encouragement at Zingu in the Wa Municipality, during the Upper West Regional celebration of the 39th National Farmers Day.
Traditional leaders, Regional Heads of Departments and Agencies and members of the Upper West Regional Security Council (REGSEC) among others graced the occasion which was on the theme: “Delivering Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience.”
A total of nine farmers and fishers were recognised at the regional level for their diverse contributions to the national economy through agriculture.
Mr Yeboah encouraged the youth to take advantage of the many resources and opportunities in the agricultural sector for economic prosperity.
“I want to remind the youth, women and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, to make advantage of the opportunities in farming and value addition in the agricultural space and you will never regret it, because it offers great prosperity to the people, region and nation,” he explained.
Mr Yeboah stressed the need for the use of agricultural technologies that promoted smart solutions to increase productivity with less cost and drudgery, to help attract the youth into the sector.
Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, said there was an increasing demand for farmers in the country to feed the growing population in a sustainable and resilient manner, while considering the long-term health of the environment.
He said there was the need for innovative smart solutions that involved a range of modern technologies and practices to revolutionise farming to enhance their output.
Farmers were often faced with numerous challenges including unpredictable weather patterns and market fluctuation, which presented the need to build resilience in the agricultural systems, by equipping them with the adaptable tools and knowledge to changing their circumstances, he said.
Dr Salih assured the farmers that the government was committed to supporting them in embracing smart solutions for sustainable food security and resilience in the country.
Mr Doho Sumaila, a 48-year-old farmer from the Duu community in the Sissala East Municipality, emerged as the Upper West Regional Best Farmer and took home a tricycle, a mist blower, three litters of liquid fertilizer, and three boxes of fertilized rice seeds.
He is a commercial farmer and cultivated over 200 acres of soybeans and over 1000 acres of maize among other crops, in addition to having out grower farmers in six districts of the region.
Madam Adama Fulera from the Dasima community in the Sissala West District also emerged as the Regional Best Woman Farmer and took home a tricycle, farm inputs and some agricultural equipment.
Mr Huudu Yassana from Kpalwogu in the Wa East District was also adjudged the Regional Best Livestock Farmer and was given a tricycle, three litters of Liquid Fertilizer and a knapsack sprayer, while Mr Ali Ibrahim won the Regional Best Crop Farmer category.
Mr Sumaila expressed his gratitude to the Ministry for the recognition of the role of farmers across the country, and encouraged the youth to see agriculture as an enterprise through which they could improve their economic status.
He also called on the government to reconsider its decision to restrict the export of soybeans, as that would encourage more youth to venture into agriculture, especially soybean farming.