The Bono East Region has experienced tremendous growth in the agricultural sector, following the implementation of government policies and the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
According to the Regional Minister, Kwasi Adu-Gyan, the implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs has since 2017 facilitated and sustained the production of maize, rice, and soya with subsidised fertiliser as well as improved seeds.
He said the region, therefore, had the potential to be the most preferred destination for agro processing companies and businesses, as a result of the availability of raw materials such as cereals and vegetables.
Mr Adu-Gyan made these known when the Bono East Region held its maiden regional Farmers Day durbar since its creation in 2019 at Atebubu in the Atebubu-Amantin Municipality last Friday.
Farmers, chiefs and people from all corners of the region converged on the Atebubu Anglican School Park to be part of the historic occasion.
In all, five distinguished farmers were honoured, with Belidon Yaw Ninganton, from the Atebubu-Amantin Municipality being crowned as the Regional Best Farmer.
Other award winners were Wumbee Wungbree, Best Regional Crop Farmer; Lhaji Abukari Gariba, Best Livestock Farmer; Grange Boampong, Best Fisher and Samuel Addo, Best Agricultural Extension Officer.
Nine other farmers were honoured in the Atebubu-Amantin Municipality during the occasion.
For his prize, Mr Ninganton was given a tricycle and five knapsack sprayers, among other items.
He called on farmers to adopt best agriculture practices to improve on their yields and increase their incomes.
Delivering a speech on the occasion, Mr Adu-Gyan said the region was doing well with the production of tree crops, with a total cultivation of 63,234 hectares of cashew.
He explained that the total output of 112,190 tonnes of cashew made the region the leading producer of the crop in the country.
Mr Adu-Gyan added that a total of 24,117 hectares of mango had been cultivated in the region, with a total output of 234,735 tonnes.
He stated that 851 hectares of coconut had also been cultivated in the region, with a total annual yield of 4,942 tonnes.
According to Mr Adu-Gyan, the vision of the government to change the age old practice of the production and export of raw materials, to value addition through processing and manufacturing, held a lot of promise for the Bono East Region.
“The Bono East Region has a lot of raw materials and has the potential to produce more under the vision of the government in the area of block and industrial farming,” he stated.
He added that the region was well-equipped to produce enough to support the already existing one-district, one-factory facilities and also provide additional resources for the processing of cereals.
Mr Adu-Gyan said since the government alone could not achieve these, it was crucial that the private sector stepped in and took advantage of the 1D1F policy to invest in the region.
He also expressed concern about the upsurge of bushfires in the area and warned that measures had been put in place to arrest the perpetrators for prosecution.