National Farmers’ Day is a day set aside to commemorate the contributions of farmers and fishermen to the national development of Ghana. Combined, these industries account for over 45% of the country’s annual GDP. At this year’s official Farmers’ Day ceremony at Sogakope in the Volta region, Plantwise and partners will take the opportunity to celebrate one of the biggest targeted platforms for plant health: the plant clinic network expanding across Ghana.
The global Plantwise initiative, led by CABI, first launched in Ghana in 2012 with plant clinics in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions. After the clinics’ early success providing timely plant health advice to farmers, operations were scaled-up to Northern and Eastern regions of Ghana, with a total of over 25 clinics now running across four of the ten regions. As well as growing clinic numbers in these four areas, the Volta region, where the Farmers’ Day event will take place, will be the 5th region for expansion of the plant clinic network in 2014.
Plantwise works to support national plant health systems in 31 countries worldwide, including 12 countries in Africa, with the goal of reducing crop loss in order to improve yields and rural livelihoods.
In addition to expanding plant clinic coverage next year, key stakeholders will be brought on board for strengthened pest diagnostics and plant clinic data management support through the Plantwise knowledge bank. With improved diagnostic capacity and data management, plant doctors, local officials and policymakers will be better equipped to protect plant health and forecast emerging pest problems. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-Ghana), which has 13 research institutes stationed nationwide to provide diagnostic services, will be an ideal partner to build capacity in these two critical areas. Additional partners from academia will also participate next year to assist with diagnoses in different ecological zones.
This year’s official Farmers’ Day theme “Reducing Post-Harvest Losses for Sustainable Food Security and Nutrition” highlights the importance of plant health in the country. The celebration will bring together top stakeholders in the agricultural sector, including the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama or his vice president, among other top ministerial and local officials.
Awards will be announced for the National Best Farmer and the National Best Fisherman, plus other categories including the National Best Agricultural Researcher. For the second part of the full-day event, a grand exhibition will be held where agro-dealers and producers will exhibit their products. After an opening ceremony, the Minister of Food and Agriculture will lead the Presidential team to visit the exhibition, along with the press and the public. The Plantwise Ghana team will be on hand to set-up and operate a plant clinic session at the exhibition grounds to promote the initiative’s continued growth across the country in 2014 and beyond.
For more information contact:
Communications Manager Julia Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plantwise Ghana Coordinator Edward Decker at email@example.com