The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), in collaboration with the Scholarships Secretariat, has sponsored winners of the 2018 national best farmers awards on a week-long training tour of Casablanca, Morocco.
The programme is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the farmers, exposing them to modern forms of farming, and also enable them to explore business opportunities and collaborations.
The 27 awardees, who left Accra last Sunday, will engage in a series of events, including visiting of farms and fertiliser assembly plants.
Briefing the media about the tour, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the programme was a further demonstration of the “government’s commitment towards improving the capacity of Ghanaian farmers and the agricultural sector”.
He said it was the first time award winners were being sponsored outside the country to build their capacity, adding that the government would continue to invest in farmers for good returns.
Dr Akoto expressed the hope that the tour would offer the farmers the chance to build networks and explore opportunities to help them to expand their businesses back home.
“It is the vision of this government to transform the country’s agriculture by improving the human resource capacity of farmers.
“This is why since 2017, we have deliberately invested huge sums of money to provide farmers’ access to improved seeds, fertilisers, extension services and markets,” he added.
The minister said apart from the tour, the government, through the Scholarships Secretariat, also offered scholarship packages to all the award winners and their workers.
Dr Akoto said earlier this year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo released GH¢2 million to the Scholarships Secretariat to implement the first phase of a Presidential Farmers’ Scholarship Scheme.
The scheme covers 120 people, made up of 24 of the 2018 award winners, two of their children or wards, and two workers each.
It caters for their tertiary education programmes, ranging from first degree to doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees in any agricultural subject of their choice in the country’s universities.
“This gesture is a further testimony of the government’s commitment to make agriculture attractive to all, especially the youth,” Dr Akoto said.