Delay in the release of funds by the Government and donors is affecting preparations by the Brong Ahafo Regional and Sunyani Municipal Planning Committees towards this year’s Farmers Day celebration.
The celebration scheduled for Friday, November 2, at the Regional level will take place at Abesim and the Municipal level at Odomase.
Mr Tuolong Paul Dogkpyarituo, Chairman of the Planning Committee at the Brong Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), said about GH¢42,000 budgeted for the Regional celebration had not been received though the event was drawing close.
This year’s celebration is on the theme: “Grow More Food-Strengthen Farmer based Organisation for Market Place Bargaining Power”.
Mr Dogkpyarituo said even though the budget was presented at a meeting with the Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council (BARCC) nothing had been received to purchase a single item for the 30 award winners in the Region.
He said with the delay in the provision of funds, the committee had to make some hasty decisions in the items to be purchased for the award winners.
Mr Samuel Yaw Kwarteng, Sunyani Municipal Director of Agriculture, said the planning committee targeted GH¢19,000 for the celebration but had not received funds from the Municipal Assembly to enable extension officers visit farmers on their farms to select award winners.
He explained that the most appropriate time to release funds for the celebration should have been at the beginning of the year to enable the planning committee plan effectively to award dedicated and hardworking farmers in the Municipality.
Mr Kwarteng said about 207 farmers would be honoured under four categories, single commodity award, overall best municipal award, consolation and non-agricultural awards.
He said an anti-bushfire campaign would be launched during the celebration and the best community with the minimum bushfire outbreak would be honoured.
Mr Kwarteng observed that donors for some time had lost interest in sponsoring the celebration while others believed that it was the sole responsibility of the Municipal Assembly to support the celebration.
The Sunyani Municipal Director of MOFA appealed to businessmen, business enterprises, financial institutions and NGOs to assist the Directorate in cash and in kind to make the celebration attractive to attract the youth into farming.
Activities planned for the celebration include a display by fire volunteers, funfair and exhibition of agricultural products and cocoa pods would be sold at a reduced price to encourage farmers to venture into cocoa farming.