As I lay in bed this morning pondering about the significance of today as National Farmers Day, my mind went back to the mid 2000s. 

As a technology transfer trainer who trekked to some of the remotest parts of our country at the time, I was a regular witness to heaps of tomatoes, plantain and other food stuffs that had been left to rot at the farm gates due to various reasons. These ranged from lack of transportation, bad pricing for the food items, farms being inaccessible to means of transport, unmotorable roads among others. 

This situation variously led to situations where a crate of tomatoes for example could be sold at GHC10.00 then when same was sold in Accra was sold at GHC200.00. This led to a situation where middlemen and end sellers reaped from the toil and sweat of the hardworking farmers who continue to break their backs in the heat of the sun and other vagaries of the weather to grow food for the nation. It is for such farmers that the National Farmers Day has been instituted. But the interesting twist is that these people, on a day like this, may well have found themselves back on the farms working just so that they can keep body and soul together. Yet, here you and I are, enjoying rest at home in the name of these same farmers.

Have we ever wondered why these farmers continuously grow and harvest food stuffs but are almost never able to even break even let alone make profits to improve on their circumstances. 

The United States has less than 2% of its population in its agricultural sector and yet they are able to feed the entire population and export to the world. According to the 2010 Population and Housing Census, over here in Ghana, we have a whopping 90.5% of our population engaged in agriculture as their main occupation. The tragedy however is that with this mass of people in agriculture, we are still unable to feed our nation let alone be able to export anything meaningful. 

As we mark this day, it’s my prayer that our policy makers would really look at ways by which our farmers would really benefit from the policies they roll out. These include enhancing agricultural extension services to the farmers, adding value through food processing of the produce, improving access to the farm gates, increased improvement in the use of technology, unimpeded access to funding for Agric purposes among others. 

Certainly, a Farmers Day that only pays lip service to the importance of farming and those involved in it is surely not the panacea in ensuring that we’d grow what we eat, eat what we grow and can what we cannot eat. 

Meanwhile I’d wish all our hardworking farmers and fisherfolk a Happy Farmers Day! May you continue to experience an enhancement in the dignity of your professionals you seek to feed our beloved nation!

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My dear friend,
"I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live." – George Bernard Shaw
Over the last couple of years, I’ve dedicated a bit of my time to join the struggle of helping to raise the younger generation. This has been to ensure that they are well positioned to take over the reins of this country and improve on its lot.
Being a committed Christian, I have for the better part of my adult life been inspired by the philosophy, ‘Omnibus Omnia Factus Sum’, a Latin phrase adopted from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians 9:22 where he wrote that he became all things to all men that he might save some by all means.
I have therefore, utilized all manner of approaches to help influence positive change in the attitude and orientation of our people for the overall purpose of nation building. To this, I welcome you to my blog. Enjoy my take on issues espoused through the scripts as well as my brief thoughts on issues as they play out daily and news stories on various endeavors that I may play a part in.
Feed back is always critical for improvement and I would thus appeal to you to always leave a note after reading any piece on this blog.
Welcome and enjoy browsing the pages.
Eric Atta-Sonno

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