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Vice President Mr Kwesi Bekoa Amissah-Arthur, has said government is committed to transforming the economy through an accelerated agricultural modernization.

He said government acknowledges the contribution of agriculture and its potential in providing sustainable employment, improved standards of living and food security in the country.

In this regard, he said, government would not renege in its efforts at investing heavily in the sector on a sustained basis for overall national development.

The Vice President was speaking at the Regional Farmers’ Day celebration at the Kpone Katamanso District on Friday.

The event was on theme: “Transform Ghana: Invest in Agriculture”.

Vice President Amissah -Arthur said in demonstrating government’s commitment to the transformation agenda of the country, it had made available GHC120 million to the rice, shea (butter), cashew and agro-processing sub-sectors to boost production.

Agricultural Mechanization Services Centres, he said, had increased from 57 in 2009 to 89 in 2014 which had further resulted in an increase in the total area of farms serviced by these centres by 57 per cent between 2009 and 2014.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said government had undertaken new irrigation projects that had resulted in the increase in the total area of irrigated land by six per cent between 2010 and 2014.

These interventions, he explained, had increased food crop production by 34 per cent between 2008 and 2014 with the doubling of total rice production since 2008.

In the fisheries sector, he said government was investing in projects to revamp the fisheries sub-sector with the construction of cold stores at Prampram, Nyanano, Shama, Sekondi-Takoradi, Half Assini and Kormantse.

“Government is facilitating the acquisition and distribution of 3,000 outboard motors for fishermen following the distribution of 1,622 since 2010”, he said.

As a further boost in the agricultural sector, the Vice President said, in the next five years, government would invest GHC 3 billion in the construction of roads in cocoa-growing regions to facilitate the transport of farm produce to various market
centres and help reduce post harvest losses.

While acknowledging the challenges and risk in agriculture, he commended farmers and fishermen for contributing to food security and the socio-economic development of the country.

Mr Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, said in recent times, rural-urban migration has been on the increase resulting in enormous pressure on food and resources within the region.

He said the region ought to produce enough food to meet the increasing demands with technical officers fashioning out innovative and appropriate technologies.

“Notwithstanding the pressure on our lands due to competition with other sectors, we still have the opportunity to practice urban and peri-urban agriculture which may be less land intensive, environmentally friendly and income generating”, he said.

The Regional Minister said he was unhappy with the destruction of crop fields by activities of alien herdsmen and the destruction of food crops and export crops by real estate developers resulting in reduction in lands for crop production in the region.

In all, 24 farmers and fishermen were honoured in the Greater Accra Region.

Mr Ebenezer Tetteh Okoe, 52, from the Shai-Osudoku District, emerged the overall Regional Best Farmer.
He received a tricycle, bicycle, generator, mattress, four cutlasses, and power sprayer among others.

The Kpone Katamanso District also honoured 16 farmers and fishers with the District Best Farmer going to 43 year old Theophilus Abodakpi.