National Farmers Day in Ghana is celebrated on the first Friday of December each year to recognise the contributions of farmers and fishers in the country. The holiday is designed to pay respect to the importance of the farming and fishing industry in the socio-economic growth of Ghana.
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Farmers Day was instituted in 1985 by the Ghana government after the industries showed a 30 percent growth in 1984. This was a significant improvement over 1982 and 1983, years the country suffered a severe drought. The first Farmers Day was celebrated in Osino, located in the Eastern Region of Ghana, where the drought was most severe.
On the first holiday, an award was given to the “best” farmer. The prize package included two machetes, a pair of Wellington boots and a preset radio. Since that time, the prizes have grown more valuable and included bicycles, power tillers, tractors and pick-ups. Starting in 2002, the winning farmer received a three-bedroom house and that has been the prize in years since.
Celebrations and Traditions
Activities on Farmers Day include a National Farmers Forum with Award Winners expected to network with country leaders and experts. The subjects include technological advances in agriculture as well as suggestions for how the leaders of Ghana can help improve the industry.
There is also an exhibition sponsored by various individuals and organisations that demonstrate developments in the industries. The exhibition is designed to generate more interest in technology in order to further modernise the landscape of the industry in Ghana.
The celebration is actually a week long with regional and district celebrations throughout the country. Much of Ghana’s economy is related to agriculture, which is why the celebrations are so extensive.
Each year, the main celebration is held in an area of the country most affected by harvest conditions that may include drought or flooding. Awards given during the celebration are for such categories as husbandry practices, ecology, use of technology and contributions to their local economy.