The grand durbar of the 37th National Farmers Day Celebrations has taken place at Cape Coast in the Central Region.
In a speech to farmers, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo said that the government is establishing an agricultural land information bank as part of efforts to create a conducive climate for agricultural growth.
According to him, this initiative would allow landowners to make areas they want to lease available to investors and will alleviate issues related to land searches for farming and other investments.
He further disclosed that approval has been given by the cabinet for the recruitment of additional 1,100 veterinary officers into the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
“Cabinet has approved the procurement of a research vessel and four patrol boats for the fisheries sector. The acquisition of a research vessel will facilitate regular fisheries research and stock excesses. This will strengthen data availability for science-based fisheries management. The four patrol boats will also strengthen enforcement capacity to help address the issue of exploitation and overfishing,” he added.
According to him, Construction on fish landing sites and harbour projects in Accra and the Western Region, which are intended to help revamp the fisheries sector, is moving quickly.
He also indicated that the essential preliminary work for the enactment of a new fisheries statute to replace the present Fisheries Act 2002 is already underway (Act 625).
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson disclosed that the Overall Best Fisher for 2021, would be awarded a Two- Bedroom House being the first of its kind in the history of the ministry.
She noted that the Aquaculture for Food and Jobs initiative was launched by the ministry in 2019 and has since benefited 24 Youth Groups, 12 Senior High Schools, 1 Educational College, and 4 Prisons so far. Each of the 24 Youth Groups has received 10 fish ponds stocked with fingerlings. Fish feeds have also been provided to empower them adequately in their start-ups.
Hon. Hawa Koomson also mentioned that the Ministry in collaboration with the Fisheries Commission, implemented the closed fishing season this year to replenish the sea’s fish stock. As a result, the ministry provided relief items to fishermen and fish processors, including 15,000 bags of rice and 6,250 cartons of cooking oil. She said the Ministry partnered with the business sector under the Fisheries Input Support Scheme to offer 5,000 outboard motors and permitted fishing gear to fishermen, as well as 75,046,500 litres of premix gasoline transported and lifted daily.
The minister used the opportunity to appeal to other developmental companies to assist the sector in promoting aquaculture development in Ghana. The five-day event, being climaxed with a grand durbar, started with an Agricultural Fair and Trade Exhibition on Monday, November 29, with all 16 regions participating.
Prior to Friday’s celebration, various regions mounted exhibitions and showcased their agricultural potentials, alongside displaying their rich culture and food produce peculiar to each region.