The Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) has presented a cheque for GHc536,000 to the National Best Farmer in 2019.
ADB, sponsor of the award, noted that, Charles Gyamfi, the 2019 best farmer, would use the money to expand his farm, purchase implements, build warehouses and farmhouses for staff, construct access roads to the farm, employ additional 30 staff as well as investment in irrigation technologies.
The Managing Director of ADB, Dr. John Kofi Mensah, speaking at the presentation ceremony noted: “the ultimate prize of providing a house to the winner was changed in 2017 into a cedi equivalent cash price of US$100,000.’’
The change in prize according to Dr. Kofi Mensah was to enable award winners to expand their farms and employ more staff from their catchment areas.
Meanwhile, ADB noted that it is still committed to ensuring that 50 percent of its total loan portfolio is being given to individuals and organisations in the agricultural sector.
“we are committed to ensuring that 50 percent of our loan portfolio goes to farmers with a pledge to continuously partner government to develop the agriculture sector.” Dr. Mensah said.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto presenting the cheque, commended the ADB for its prompt disbursement of the prize money to enable the winner to augment investment in his farm.
The Minister said government will continue to invest in key initiatives including the Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs in order to keep progressing towards a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid.
Charles Gyamfi commended government and the ADB for the honours and assured that the money would be put into good use.
Charles Gyamfi, 58 years, from the Ahafo Region has been farming for the past 25 years, producing cocoa, cassava, maize, garden eggs and citrus fruits among others.
The father of five also rears cattle, goats and poultry. He owns five boxes of bee hives, fish ponds and employs over 100 staff on his farm.