The Market Development Programme for Northern Ghana (MADE) and its agribusiness partners joined key stakeholders in the country’s agricultural sector to celebrate the 35th National Farmers’ Day in Ho, capital of the Volta Region, from 2 to 6 December 2019.
The five-day event was held under the theme of “Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture Towards Agribusiness Development”. It was marked with exhibitions, a farmers’ forum and regional day celebrations, culminating in a Regional and National Best Farmer Awards ceremony officiated by the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, on 6 December.
In his remarks, the President urged Ghanaians to consume locally produced rice and other foods, saying, “We must eat what we grow to motivate our farmers, and support the development of the local food industry.” He also marked the progress of the Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, which MADE and its partners have supported by making improved inputs and services available to smallholder farmers. “Planting for Food and Jobs, now a household catch phrase, is achieving considerable successes within the three years of its implementation. It has resulted in a sectoral growth rate from a low of 2.9% in 2016, to 6.1% in 2017, and is expected to rise to 6.9% in 2019,” the President said.
A round of applause for Ghana’s best farmers
Three MADE partners were among the 130 receiving awards for distinguishing themselves in their line of work. Alhaji Abdulai Antiku Seidu, Managing Director of Antika Company Limited, won the 2nd Runner-Up National Best Farmer Award for 2019, while John Dimah of Gouhoballe Agribusiness Ventures won the National Best Maize Farmer Award, and Mashood Dori of Duri Farms won the Regional Best Farmer Award for Upper West Region.
Alhaji Abdulai Seidu Antiku said, “The innovative business models implemented with MADE have contributed significantly to us winning these awards. The training and engagement of Farm Enterprise Advisors has, for example, helped us to deliver quality seed and inputs as well as training in good agricultural practices and business advisory services to our smallholder farmers to increase yield and produce quality crops for market.” Meanwhile, he added, “The introduction of the M-Access tool has also enabled us to keep good records to track production, costs and business growth.”
Sharing technologies and learning
The event offered MADE an excellent opportunity to showcase and disseminate information on the successes and lessons learned from implementing the market systems approach to agribusinesses, development partners, research institutions, financial institutions, civil society organisations and public institutions including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
MADE also supported Image-AD, a collaborating partner, to promote the M-Access and TonPos tool piloted with MADE partners to more agribusinesses and development partners in their bid towards commercialisation.
Dignitaries who visited the MADE booth during the event included the Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, Dr. Nurah Gyiele, Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, and Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah. They commended MADE for the innovative models implemented with partners and described the market systems approach deployed by MADE as a smart way of promoting agriculture in Ghana.
To read more about the market systems development approach and the work MADE has done over the past six years, visit https://ghana-made.org