The Member of Parliament for Weija-Gbawe Constituency and Deputy Minister of Health, Mrs Tina Mensah has advised Ghanaians to always buy food produced locally because those foods fight diseases.
Mrs Mensah said the rise of BP, diabetes and other illnesses that are commonly found in Ghanaians recently are mostly developed from the taste for foreign food items such as rice and others with added preservatives.
“It is not even prudent to import food into Ghana because the farmers here can do it and it will also empower us economically because the money will be circulating among us,” she stated.
She made this known at the 38th Annual Farmers Day celebration and the 5th one for the Weija-Gbawe Constituency at Gbawe EU Abattoir Site on the theme “Accelerating Agricultural Development Through Value Addition.”
The Minister said the Weija-Gbawe Assembly and the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo are ready to support the sector to grow to the point that Ghanaians would be self-independent in food production.
She stated that because of the hard work of Ghanaian farmers, there is enough food in the country but due to the increased prices of petrol and dollar rate the food prices have surged marginally.
In a keynote address by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Weija-Gbawe Municipal Assembly, Mr Patrick Brako Kumor acknowledged the contribution of farmers in the municipality and charged them to continue the good work of producing food to feed the population.
Mr Kumor said without the contribution of farmers, Ghana cannot realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 of seeking sustainable food to end hunger by 2030, achieve food security and improve nutrition.
He said the government has realized that the concept of value addition will present an opportunity for additional revenue generation, job creation, foreign exchange earnings and effective post-harvest losses.
Based on this, the government established the Planting for Food and Jobs as a major intervention to create jobs, and increase production.
Mr Kumor said the government has recognized as well as the Assembly that the basic survival of the nation depends on the produce that agriculture provides and its contribution towards the economy.
He said to ensure the youth of Ghana embrace agriculture to replace the ageing farmers, the government will continue to provide incentives and assist farmers to combat diseases in the sector.
The MCE appealed to the chiefs and landowners in urban cities to stop selling all the lands to estate developers who are taking over farmlands at the expense of the poor peasant farmers to safeguard food security in the municipalities.
He advised that the nation’s security depends on food security because studies have shown that food insecurity is a major driver of conflict, general insecurity, poverty, hunger and anger and therefore appealed for accessibility of lands for food production.
“The Weija-Gbawe Assembly recognizes agriculture as the driving force and this is evidenced by the bond with farmers hence the assembly will work hard to ensure it regains its pride and place in the nation,” the MCE stated.
“It is often said if you can read, thank a teacher. Should we not then have the farmer’s version-if you have eaten today, then thank a farmer.”
On her part, the Municipal Director of Agriculture, Mrs Antoinette Aguadze called on the government to pay heed to the call of value addition to the chain to achieve food security.
In all, eight farmers were awarded for their hard work and contribution in the area of municipal best crop farmer, best lives-stock, best poultry, best fish farmer, best pick farmer, best Agric extension agent, 1st best woman farmer and overall best municipal farmer and were presented with various prizes such as fridge, Wellington boots, wheelbarrows, cutlasses, shovels, tricycle, spraying machines and many others.
Mr Richard Amebor of Jomma near Ablekuma was awarded the municipal chief farmer.
He advised the youth not to depend on white colour jobs only but rather venture into the Agriculture sector and called on the government to reduce the cost of farm implements.