Journalist grabs Best Farmer Award in Central Region

Mr George Lawson, a Lecturer and Journalist from the Awutu Senya District, has been adjudged the overall Best Farmer of the Central Region at the 39th Farmers' Day celebration at Ajumako. With 30 years' experience in farming, Mr Lawson cultivates maize, okro, cassava, mango, cowpea, pear, among other crops in commercial quantities. He also rears cattle, local birds, rabbits, fish and has beehives for honey. For his award, he received a small HIJET Truck, refrigerator, mattress, Wellington boots, cutlasses, spraying machine, and a bag of fertilizer, among other things. Madam Charity Fiwonu from the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem District emerged the overall Best Fisher of the region. In all, the region awarded 13 farmers and fishers, including the best female farmer and best cocoa farmer. Mr Lawson, after receiving his award, urged the youth to venture into agriculture and persevere to succeed. The development of the agriculture sector should not be left to government alone, he said, adding that it require d the collective efforts of all stakeholders to achieve the desired outcome. Calling for increased investment in agriculture, he bemoaned the lack of financial support for farmers, which was inimical to agricultural development. 'For the technical support, it comes in one way or the other, but the financial support does not come at all. 'If this continues, it will be detrimental to the agricultural potential and the future of our country,' he said. Mr Lawson encouraged agricultural stakeholders in the region to pay more attention to mango and cocoa production given the massive economic potentialities of those crops. He said about 70 per cent of the coconut in Accra was sourced from the Central Region. 'We have a very fertile land and if we give our land to the Israelis, it will become a paradise but we import mangoes from Burkina Faso.' 'Mango can give us more foreign exchange than any other tree crop and there is research to that effect ,' he said. Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Min ister, observed that government's intervention in agriculture had yielded positive results and commended the President for that achievement. She said the Planting for Food and Jobs policy had increased productivity and made farming more profitable and attractive, urging everybody to join the sector. She noted that government was making efforts to minimise post-harvest losses through a raft of interventions. Touching on the fisheries sector, she noted the intensification of the fight against illegal fishing activities to sustain the country's dwindling fish stock. She announced that the region's locally produced rice, Central Rice, would be soon launched onto the market and urged all to patronise it. This year's celebration was on the theme: 'Delivering smart solutions for sustainable food security and resilience'. Nine districts, including Mfantseman, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Gomoa East, Gomoa West, Ekumfi, Asssin South, Agona West, and the Cape Coast Metropolis joined the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District at the Ajumako Campus of the University of Education, Winneba for the celebration. Source: Ghana News Agency