For many African countries, agriculture plays a prominent role in the creation of jobs and revenue generation. Although with the advent of more advanced technology, agriculture seems to be taking a back seat for some countries, this is certainly not a good move as these countries would rather import produces like rice, beans instead of investing in the local farmers who could make enough yield for the country with even more to spare for exporting. It is important to note that agriculture contributes approximately 54% to Ghana’s GDP and accounts for over 40% of export earnings (FAO, 2015).
Unlike many of its neighbouring countries, Ghana essentially realises the importance of agriculture and thus invests in the potential of agriculture as not just a means of livelihood for its people at the grassroots but also a means of boosting the national GDP. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states the about 52% of Ghana’s labour force is engaged in agriculture – this statistic is quite interesting for a country of approximately 26 million. Of this, 39% are women, Ghana benefits from agriculture and also employs it as a sustainable means of women empowerment.
Ghana’s Farmer’s Day was introduced by the national Ministry of Food and Agriculture intended for the whole nation to honour its farmers with certificates and even prizes for outstanding performances in categories ranging from husbandry practices and ecological awareness to the use of new technology and community development.
Not only are the incentives great, the initiative is also quite inspiring. Since 1988, the first Friday of every December has been set aside by the government as Farmers’ Day and is celebrated as a statutory public holiday. The national Farmer’s Day also gives the government officials an opportunity to discuss their plans for agriculture and its development for the coming year.
Undoubtedly, Ghana sets the bar quite high for its neighbouring countries in terms of agriculture and the value it places on not just its farmers but also its citizens at large. What do you think about Ghana’s Farmer’s Day?