General Agricultural Workers Union is questioning the relevance of the kinds of awards given farmers for their hard work and dedication over the past years.
As Ghana marked Farmers’ Day today, Deputy General Secretary of GAWU Edward Kareweh has called on government to go beyond granting holiday status to Farmers’ Day celebration and the fanfare that goes with it.
“We need policy that will alleviate the farmer’s production constraint which will create the market for the framers which will make available the credit needs”
This year’s Farmers’ Day celebration themed: Transform Ghana – Invest in Agriculture, is focused on increasing private sector investment in the agricultural sector to transform the country’s rural economies and halt rural-urban migration.
About 78 farmers and fishermen were honoured Friday at the 31st National Farmers’ Day celebration in Bolgatanga in the Upper East region.
A 49-year old Ibrahim Musah who is based in the Brong Ahafo region was adjudged the 2015 National Farmer.
He is a fisherman, cocoa farmer and he is into animal husbandry. He has 100 acres of cocoa farm among others including a Tilapia farm.
Entitled to a house provided by the Agricultural Development Bank, the winner also takes home GHC3,000 cheque a laptop and a car among other prizes.
But GAWU is unenthused with the yearly ritual. He said the awards may not be linked to the needs of the farmers.
“Sometimes the awards that are given to the farmers are probably not needed. If they honour the farmer with a house or wellington boots, is that what the farmer wants?”
He noted that farmers are struggling to address challenges in production, post-harvest, marketing and credit.
A lack of intervention or inadequate strategies to support farmers misses the point of supporting farmers.
“Mere awarding and honouring farmers and also declaring the day a public holiday does not address the needs of the farmers”.