All is set for this year’s National Farmers Day Celebration at the Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School Park in the Upper East Region on Friday.
The theme for the celebration is “Transform Ghana: Invest in Agriculture”.
In all 78 farmers from all the ten regions of the country are expected to pick various categories of awards.
When the Daily Graphic visited the grounds for the occasion Thursday, preparations were feverishly going on towards the celebrations as canopies had been erected and exhibition stands had also been mounted to display various agricultural products.
Other exhibitors were also putting finishing touches to their stance.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic at the celebration grounds, the National Secretary of the Farmers’ Day Organising Committee, Ms. Rejoice Ayifli Wabiyaa said everything was set for the ceremony.
She said canopies and chairs for invited guests as well as the award winners have been erected whilst the VIP dais was at the final stage of completion.
She said the award winners had gone through some rehearsals in the morning and were to return to the grounds later to continue with the rehearsals.
She said the award winners arrived in Bolgatanga on the 29th of November and had a farmers’ day forum on Monday the 30th of November.
Madam Wabiyaa said the award winners on Tuesday paid a courtesy call on the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs and also visited the Crocodile Pond at Paga and a solar energy farm at Navrongo. The following day they visited the Irrigation Company of the Upper Region (ICOUR) at Tono and the Sirigu Pottery Village in the Kassena Nankana Municipality.
One of the award winners, Mr. Samuel Amgmor from Upper Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region expressed satisfaction with preparations so far towards the celebrations.
He said celebrating the day in the region has exposed them to the agricultural potentials of the region and that they have been well informed about the eco-system, soil types as well as the weather and climatic conditions of the region.
Mr. Amgmor lauded the hospitable nature of the people of the region, commending them for their religious tolerance.
The Farmers’ Day was instituted by the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government in 1985 in recognition of the vital role farmers and fishers played in the economy especially the highly commendable output of farmers and fishermen in 1984 during which Agriculture contributed to 30 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
This achievement came after the bad agricultural years of 1982 and 1983 which saw the nation experiencing drought and wild bush fires. The day is therefore set aside to motivate farmers and to encourage them to produce more.
The first National Farmers’ Day was celebrated on the first Friday of December 1986 at Osino in the Eastern Region. The first best farmer received two machetes, a pair of Wellington boots and a preset radio.
However the value of the awards has improved from year to year, moving from bicycle to power tillers to tractors, pick-ups and presently to a three-bedroom house which started in the year 2002.The last time the celebration was held in the Upper East Region was in 1999.