The National Farmers’ Day was instituted in 1985 in recognition of the vital role farmers and fishermen play in the Ghanaian economy. This was to emphasise the highly commendable output of farmers and fishermen in 1984 – about 30 percent growth registered – after the bad agricultural years of 1982 and 1983.
The annual celebration of National Farmers’ Day is here with us. The event is the biggest statutory obligation that provides the platform to celebrate Ghanaian farmers and fishers for their contribution to the economy. This event is not just about awards, but a celebration of the entire agriculture and fishing community – from innovative farming techniques to sustainable practices in fishing. The overwhelming consensus around the celebrations attests to the nation’s profound appreciation of the role and contribution of farmers to national development.
It is important to keep reminding ourselves that farmers and fishers are, indeed, indispensable in the national economic fortunes. It is hard to imagine our fate without farmers and fishers.
This year’s National Farmers’ Day celebration, therefore, provides us with an opportunity to highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture practices, celebrate the contributions of farmers, and reflect on the positives as well as challenges currently impacting the well-being of farmers and Ghana’s agriculture in general.
The logical response of the ministry under the leadership of the current minister, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, has been to undertake a diagnosis of the the sector. This action has given a full understanding and appreciation of issues that have informed the appropriate course of action for tackling the problems identified, and for enhancing the implementation of interventions.
Given the afore-mentioned, The Planting for Food and Jobs Phase II (PFJ 2.0) programme was launched in the Northern Region by H.E. the President in October 2023. This provides an innovative and comprehensive approach, building on the successes of the initial/first PFJ campaign.
PFJ 2.0 takes a holistic view of the value chain approach by focussing on strengthening linkages among actors along selected agricultural commodity value chains and improving service delivery to maximise impact. The programme substitutes direct input subsidy with smart agricultural financial support in the form of comprehensive input credit with provision for in-kind repayment.
Theme for the 2023 National Farmers’ Day
The theme for this year’s Farmers’ Day Celebration is ‘Delivering Smart Solutions for Sustainable Food Security and Resilience’. This is appropriate and relevant to achieving food security in Ghana within the context of an increase in population growth and its accompanying food system issues.
Ghana, like many developing countries, faces challenges in ensuring sustainable food security. The country has to grapple with low agricultural productivity, limited market access and a changing climate. As a result, it is critical to identify and deliver smart solutions that can enhance the food system’s resilience and ensure sustainable food security.
Mode of celebration for 2023
The National Farmers’ Day, at the national level in many years, was celebrated in a day. This was, however, revised to a 5-Day Agricultural Fair and a Grand Durbar. The essence was to allow farmers to network with industry players and learn and adopt new technologies, machinery and research innovations in agriculture. The fair also offered a business platform for various stakeholders to link up and form partnerships that will ensure the overall benefit of their farm enterprises.
Mode of celebration 2023
The year’s celebration would, as usual, be preceded by a five-day National Agricultural Festival – Agrifest Ghana 2023 – which is slated from Monday, November 27 to Friday, December 1, 2023. Agrifest Ghana 2023 is expected to be held on the principal streets of the Ministerial enclave in Accra. The last day of Agrifest, which marks the first Friday of December, will be celebrated with an awards night ceremony at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) Auditorium, where Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, will confer national honours on best-performing farmers and fishers. A total of fifteen award categories will receive recognition at the awards night in Tarkwa; namely:
- Overall National Best Farmer
- 1st Runner-Up National Best Farmer
- 2nd Runner-Up National Best Farmer
- National Best Livestock Farmer
- National Best Female Farmer
- National Best Physically Challenged Farmer
- Overall National Best Fisher
- National Best Marine Fisher
- National Best Inland Fisher
- National Best Fisher Farmer
- National Best Fish Processor
- National Best Cocoa Farmer
- National Most Promising Young Cocoa Farmer
- National Most Enterprising Cocoa
- Female Farmer and National Best Shea Nut Picker.
Regional Farmers’ Day celebration will continue to be held in all sixteen (16) regions. Accordingly, regional ministers will confer regional honours on the best-performing farmers in their region on behalf of the President. There would be five (5) regional award categories per region, namely: The Regional Best Farmer, Regional Best Livestock Farmer, Regional Best Female Farmer, Regional Best Fisher, and Regional Physically Challenged Farmer.
District-level celebrations are expected to be held in the two hundred and sixty-one districts (261). District award categories will be three (3) per district, namely: District Best Farmer, District Best Livestock Farmer, and District Best Crop Farmer.