The 34th Farmers' day celebration was marked nationwide across all districts last friday, 7th December.
The theme for this years celebration was "Agriculture, moving Ghana beyond Aid" The Wassa East Farmers' day was very remarkable in terms of quality of entire event, the enhanced value of prizes presented to the 25 winners, record patronage and the relevant message delivered by Wilson Arthur Hon DCE of Wassa East District.
Leveraging on the theme, Agriculture, moving Ghana beyond Aid, the Entrepreneur turned Public Servant stated emphatically that the Government led by President Nana Akuffo Addo has provided strategic intervention vehicles for achievement of Ghana beyond Aid in record period.
Some of these strategic interventions are Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development targetting tree crops like Mango, Cashew Oil Palm, Cocoa, Coffee and Rubber (input for 1DIF). Rearing for Food and Jobs, and MAG project that is provuding hi- tech and mechanised support at communuty level fo farmers.
All that is needed at this stage is to get buy in of critical numbers of Ghanaans to see investment oppottunities in Agriculture and take to farming as a business.
Farming on subsistence level has created this misconception that Agriculture is not a viable business. Wilson Arthur revealed that on average, the break even for a Cocoa Farm is four bags an acre.
However, most small holder Cocoa Farmers in Ghana are reluctant to buy and apply Fertilizer to nourish their their cocoa farms even at this 50% discountered price offered by Government.
Poor maintenance, aged trees, poor yielding species are some challenges that must be addressed. Given the right investment and business approach, an acre of Cocoa Farm of 435 trees on average yields 21,750 pods since each tree yields 50 pods per year. 1,600 cocoa pods will give you one bag of dry cocoa beans weighing 64kg. So 21,750 pods from an acre of cocoa farm will yield 13.59bags. At current producer price of Gh475 gross income of an average Cocoa Farm is GH6,455. 25.
Given the available mass spraying services support, higher yielding and fast growing cocoa seedling supplies from Cocobod, Cocoa Life and MMDAs under PERD, and discounted prices for Fertilizer, average cost of cocoa farm per acre is within 4 bags or GhC1, 900
With a 10acre Cocoa farm, you are banking Gh64, 55.25 or gross profit of 45,552.50 per year.
Agricuture is the best vehicle to achieve Ghana beyond Aid because it is about the only sector of our economy that remains in control of Ghanaians.
The Wassa East Farmers' day was more than speeches, exhibition and awards presentations.
A Service Fair offered the Farmers direct access to Officials from Cocobod, Cocoa Life, ECG, Agric Dept, NHIS and Minerals Commission to address community and personal challenges.
Free Medical Screening, and special treat by simstress and beauticians offered by Wassa East youth beneficiaries of Wilson Arthur/Aseda foundation skill training project. Women Farmers had free hair do and had their Christmas clothes sewn free of charge.
The annual Inter Area Council Soccer Tournament was very competitive. Daboase beat Enyinabrim Area Council Team to lift the Cup.
Ateiku Area Council is next to host the celebration of Farmers day in December 2019.
The ocassion was chaired by Mrs Yaa Pepprah, Country director of Cocoa life and witnessed by Chiefs led by Nana Kwamena Damoah iii, Hon Isaac Adjei mensah MP of Wassa East, Hon Essel Bediako Pm, representatives of prizes doners like Golden Star Resources,Lower Pra Rural Bank, Skyy Media, Amitaab, PSG, TICO, VRA, SANAA TECH, Cocoa Life top Officials, Radiant Group CEO and Hon members of Wassa East Assembly who lost 3:2 to the Assembly staff team in opening match of the Area Council Tournament