Tamale which is the Northern Regional capital will be the centre of attraction as it hosts the 2018 National Farmers Day (NFD) celebration.
The event which will be at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium will see about About 91 hardworking farmers and fishers are being honoured.
This year’s celebration, which is the 34th since its inception in 1985, is on the theme: “Agriculture: Moving Ghana Beyond Aid”.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is the special guest of honour, will present prizes to national and regional award winners at the grand durbar.
The farmer who will emerge the National Best Farmer for 2018 will receive $100,000 as his or her prize.
The ultimate prize for the National Best Farmer is sponsored by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to assist the fortunate winner to purchase agricultural equipment and tools.
The award categories at today’s durbar will include the National Best Farmer, First Runner-up, Second Runner-up, National Best Youth Farmer, National Best Female Farmer, National Best Physically Challenged Farmer, National Best Livestock Farmer, National Best Fisherman and National Best Inland Fisherman.
The rest are National Best Marine Fisherman, National Best Aquaculture Fisherman, National Best Cocoa Farmer, National Best Shea-nut Farmer, National Best Crop Farmer, National Best Agro Forestry Farmer, National Best Agricultural Extension Agent and National Best Fisheries Extension Farmer Worker.
The first five winners from each region will also be rewarded at the national level.
Those who will be honoured at the regional level are the Regional Best Farmer, First Runner-up, Second Runner-up, Regional Best Agricultural Extension Agent and Regional Best Fisheries Worker.
The National Farmers Day was instituted by the government in 1985 in recognition of the vital role farmers and fishers play in the economy, especially the highly commendable output of farmers and fishermen in 1984 which resulted in about 30 per cent growth, after the bad agricultural years of 1982 and 1983.
The institutionalised Farmers Day awards, which are always on a chosen theme, also acknowledge the untiring efforts of farmers and fishers at feeding the country’s growing population, providing raw materials for industries and contributing substantially to foreign exchange earnings.
The prize for the first best farmer comprised two machetes, a pair of Wellington boots and a preset radio at a national durbar held at Osino in the Eastern Region in 1985.
Ever since, the value of the awards has improved from year to year, moving from bicycles to power tillers, tractors, pick-ups and presently a three-bedroom house for the ultimate winner since 2002.
The programme of activities usually planned for the celebrations includes a national farmers’ forum, at which the award winners interact with policymakers and experts on some technological advances in the agricultural sector and also make their views known.
Prizes are awarded to deserving farmers and fishers in order of best practices and outputs.
One notable feat chalked up by the awards is that over the years great interest has been shown by organisations and institutions which sponsor the event by offering various agricultural inputs, cash and other items that are presented to award winners.
Organisations in agriculture have also made available to farmers and fishers credit, inputs for production or processing of produce to reduce post-harvest losses.
Read also: National Farmers Day: No regional celebration today
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