Former Ghanaian leader JJ Rawlings has called on Ghanaians to consume locally-produced rice as a means to empower farmers.
In a message to mark Farmers’ Day, Mr. Rawlings said: “It is our responsibility as Ghanaians to support this effort by committing to consume locally produced rice and by so doing helping to improve the quality of what is produced, as increased income for farmers means increased investments in improved yields and packaging.”
Ghana has set aside December 3 every year to celebrate the toil of farmers and to recognise outstanding ones.
Below is Rawlings’ full statement to mark the day:
RAWLINGS CONGRATULATES FARMERS
On the occasion of the 35th National Farmers’ Day, I join all Ghanaians to wish all our farmers and fisherfolk a Happy Farmers’ Day. Your sacrifices and toil throughout the decades to put food on our table cannot be understated.
Your daily toil, under very trying conditions provides our national food requirements, raw material for our industry and export commodities for the needed foreign exchange receipts.
As we celebrate this special occasion and urge government not only to reward farmers but create opportunities for the embracement of modern farming technologies, I urge corporates and financial institutions to also support the farming community with incentives that will encourage interest from especially the youth.
It is quite encouraging to note that the Ministry of Agriculture, led by its sector Minister is working seriously to ensure self-sufficiency in food production as well as the promotion of export cash crops. More commendable is the sustained effort to ensure self-reliance in the production of quality rice locally. The sector Ministry and rice farmers deserve commendation for their efforts at ensuring that we consume local rice.
It is our responsibility as Ghanaians to support this effort by committing to consume locally produced rice and by so doing helping to improve the quality of what is produced, as increased income for farmers means increased investments in improved yields and packaging.
While urging the private sector to support agriculture, this is a call to the youth, especially the educated young ones to endeavour to accept farming as a responsible calling that is not only rewarding but also of immense benefit to the country.
The setting aside of this day is the biggest reward to farmers, so for those of you who win no prizes at the various commemorative events, we raise our glasses to you for your dedication and commitment to your country.
AYEKOO GHANA AKUAFO!
Source: Daily Mail GH