In what most people have described as a demotivation to farmers, the overall adjudged best farmer for the Atwima Nwabiagya North District, Bright Osei Kofi was given a wheelbarrow as his take-home price.
The 38th Farmers’ day celebration which was held at Amakye Bare in the Atwima Nwabiagya North district saw the young energetic youth emerge as the district’s best farmer. Wheelbarrow and other items were awarded to him as his ultimate price.
Some farmers and other eyewitnesses who reacted to the assembly’s shocking presentation said, they were saddened by the action.
“Why would a whole district assembly buy a common wheelbarrow as an ultimate price for an overall best farmer?” an angry youth quizzed in an interview with GhanaWeb.
“We were all here when the DCE was heard encouraging people to venture into farming. How would someone be motivated to become a farmer when common wheelbarrows are given to best farmers as their award?” a farmer who only gave his name as Opanin Nti also lamented.
“When I saw the assembly members pushing the wheelbarrow, I thought it was a joke until when it was confirmed by the MC that the wheelbarrow was a gift to the best farmer. What crime at all have farmers committed to deserve all these punishments?” another woman quizzed.
“We are begging the assembly to up its game. Why would they do things to kill the spirit of people like that? Why are farmers always treated like trash? They should remember that if there were no farmers, no one would get food to eat”. An angry man told GhanaWeb.
Aside the wheelbarrow, the 39-year-old assembly member and best farmer was also given other items such as a chest freezer, 5 K carp composts, wellington boots, 10 cutlasses, 6 yards of cloth, 5 agrochemicals, 2 bars of Key Soap, mixed blower, knapsack machine etc.
An investigation conducted by this reporter revealed that the items such as the chest freezer, 5 K Carp composts, the cutlasses, the clothes, agrochemicals, mixed blower and the knapsack machine were all sponsored by some individuals.
Thus, the other items such as the Wallington boot, cutlasses, Key Soap bars and wheelbarrow were the main items sponsored by the district assembly.
Reacting to his “wheelbarrow” gift, the disappointed assembly member and best farmer said he was not satisfied with the gesture of the assembly. According to him, the least he expected from the assembly as an ultimate price was a tricycle (aboboyaa) and not a common wheelbarrow.
He said the action will not bring any glory or encouragement to young persons like himself who may want to venture into farming.
“It’s very bad for a whole best farmer to be awarded a common wheelbarrow. I even have about three already. If it was for a wheelbarrow, no one would ever contest for a best farmer position. Can’t someone like myself who has about 22 acres of cocoa farm and other cash crop farms buy a common wheelbarrow which costs just Gh¢350?” He quizzed in disappointment.
He, therefore, urged the assembly to organise attractive and motivating award schemes for best farmers so that it will always drive others into farming.