For his ingenuity as far as the introduction of a special day to celebrate some of the nation’s best workers; farmers, Former President, Flt. Jerry John Rawlings has been duly acknowledged.
Former President John Mahama, while recognising farmers for their hard work in a media interview, touted the first president under the fourth republic for spearheading the introduction of the Farmer’s Day celebrations.
“I believe that the institution of the farmers day in the PNDC time by President Jerry Rawlings was a good thing and it’s a good thing that successive governments have continued to maintain it.”
Mr. Mahama emphasized the importance of farming and the agricultural sector to the growth of the economy and the need to encourage more persons to join the field.
Rather than sticking to the ancient system of gifting farmers with mostly local tools including cutlasses and hoes during farmer’s day, he said, there ought to be the introduction of more modernized machinery which will help with more labor but be less stressful.
This he believes, will attract more of the younger generation to join in farming.
” I think we need to look at the prizes that we give and vary them a bit so that they enhance the productivity of the farmers. We still continue to give them cutlasses and all things like that, I believe that the hoe and cutlass agriculture is past so if we can give more of them power tillers and train them how to use them so that agriculture is not like back-breaking work.
That’s why the youth are not interested in agriculture because if the youth of today you ask them to take hoe and cutlass and farm, they won’t go, but if he knows that agriculture is mechanized and not as backbreaking as our ancestors have been used to, it will attract more young people,” he said.
Mr. Mahama also urged that effective measures be put in place to ensure the products of farmers are preserved and transformed into good products with long-life span for exportation, which in turn will improve the economy.
‘Hoe and cutlass’ incentives discouraging, mechanise agriculture – Mahama to governments
“I salute all the Ghanaian farmers, It is quite a risky business and the fact that they continue to dedicate themselves year in and year out, to produce not only food for us to eat but to produce products that we are able to export and bring foreign currency in. On this day, we all have to celebrate them.” He said.
“We also need to look at how we process more of our products so that we create agro-industry, more people can be employed and we are able to preserve the food products over a longer period than we currently have.