The Member of Parliament for the Okere constituency says the surest way to boost agriculture and reduce post-harvest losses is to expand road infrastructure to link farming communities.
According to Dan Botwe, his government over the past few years can be credited for its commitment to drastically reducing post-harvest losses, which have become a challenge for farmers across the country.
The MP, who also serves as the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, made these remarks at the 39th Farmers’ Day celebration at Lakpa, a farming community in the Okere district of the Eastern Region.
This year’s Farmers’ Day celebration in the district brought together farmers displaying their farm produce, ranging from crops to livestock. While some farmers showcased raw farm produce, others were seen with processed foods.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the program, Dan Botwe stated that the expansion of road infrastructure in his constituency has attracted individuals who were not previously encouraged to farm to venture into the business.
According to him, it is for this reason that the government is expanding and constructing roads in farming areas, especially in his constituency, to make transportation accessible to farmers.
“The main complaint was that after farming sending the produce to the market centre was problem and because they can’t send them to the market it becomes a very big problem. So we encourage the youth to go into farming.
“We as a constituency doubled our efforts to make sure that we are to lobby central government and as you can see this area somewhere you could not even pass with what we call Aboboyaa and now all these roads have been tarred. It is the reason why I am saying that now they can send it to the market centres.”
“One beautiful thing in Okere here is that the roads have attracted many people who farming was not their main business. The one who won the best farmer last year was a staff of the United Nations and this year, the winner is a major with the army. The best poultry farmer is a medical doctor,” he explained.
In the Okere district, 67-year-old retired military major, Jude Boateng, emerged as the overall best farmer. He cultivated 26 acres of cocoa, 10 acres of plantain, 5 acres of maize and oil palm, along with pineapples, coconut, cashew, cassava, and piggery, among other crops.
For his award, he received a deep freezer, a spraying machine, cutlasses, and a citation.
Mr. Boateng, speaking to the media, expressed that the government can make farming more attractive by providing financial support to farmers.
The District Chief Executive for the area, Daniel Nana Addo-Kenneth, mentioned in his speech how the government has been supportive to farmers by providing improved seedlings and other incentives.
“All you need is a land because government will help cultivate your land on credit, invest in your farm, and later share the profit with you. The only you will do is to play a supervisory role in ensuring that your farm runs effectively. So I will urge all of you to access the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative,” he said.
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