Date Posted: November 24th, 2008
Being situated in a food-producing area of Ghana, Classic FM holds it as a duty to support local farmers through agricultural broadcasts. Classic FM has been a partner of Farm Radio International since 2001. During this time, producer Kwabena Agyei has reached out beyond his radio station’s audience by writing several scripts for Farm Radio. Below, Kwabena tells us how National Farmers Day was celebrated in the Techiman District, and explains Classic FM’s latest efforts to support farmers.
The first Friday of every December is celebrated as National Farmers Day in Ghana, with various activities to commend farmers and reward them for their work over the years. This year’s celebration was held early, due to the general election, which is slated for December 7, 2008. The day is also set aside as a national holiday, where farmers and all who have a hand in the agricultural sector showcase their innovations.
In Techiman, the National Best Farmer for 2008 award was bestowed on a 54-year-old medical officer, Dr Simon Saku, from Wenchi, in the Brong Ahafo region. For his prize, Dr. Saku received a three bedroom house valued at 40, 000 Ghanaian cedis (about 33,000 American dollars or 26,000 Euros) to be built at a place of his choice. In all, 67 farmers, including 10 agricultural extension officers, and a radio station, Classic FM, engaged in different categories of agricultural activities were recognized for their contributions to agriculture and national development.
The theme for the celebration was Globalization: Its effects on agricultural development production in Ghana. The President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. J A Kufuor, commended all farmers and appealed to them to focus on the Millennium Development Goals and the Millennium Challenge Accounts (a development fund offered by the United States for which Ghana is eligible). He further urged them to modernize agriculture by moving it from subsistence to a commercial occupation.
Classic FM took the opportunity to launch its first African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI) campaign, which focused on promoting a tomato variety called peptomesh at the National Farmers’ Day celebration. The launch was performed by the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Ernest Akobour Debrah, who was supported by the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Price Yaw Donyina.
Mr. Debrah commended Classic FM for its innovativeness in agricultural broadcast, testifying that, as a farmer within Classic FM catchment’s area himself, he has benefited from the station’s agricultural broadcasts. He appealed to Classic FM to do more and reach more farmers with relevant and high quality information on food production, since it is the surest way to food security and poverty reduction.
The coordinator of the AFFRI campaign for Classic FM, Mr. Kwabena Agyei, thanked the minister and assured him that Classic FM will always innovate to reach more farmers since Classic FM, situated at a food producing area, holds it as a duty to ensure food security and poverty reduction though its agricultural broadcasts. The launch was performed at a stand erected by Classic FM at the durbar grounds of the National Farmers Day celebration.