Residents of Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city, should take a keen interest in urban agriculture, Mr Osei Assibey-Antwi, the Mayor, has advised.
“The little available spaces in our homes could be harnessed to grow crops to ensure sustainable development of agriculture,” he said, assuring that the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) was committed to supporting that cause.
Currently, the metropolis has about 30,000 smallholder farmers engaged mainly in vegetable and livestock production.
The United Nations projects that by 2050, 70 per cent of the world’s population would live in urban areas and as a result, ensuring sustainable food supply in a rapidly growing city becomes a matter of concern.
Mr Assibey-Antwi, who was addressing the 36th annual farmers’ day celebration at Duase near Kumasi, said the people ought to demonstrate resilience in making sure that ‘there is enough food for us all to eat’.
“It is of concern that rapid urbanization in the Kumasi Metropolis has taken over about 90 per cent of our arable land for the construction of buildings and other social infrastructure.
“Our focus is to have a paradigm shift, where agriculture will be seen as a business that responds to the economic growth of the country,” the Mayor noted.
Mr Mohammed Ayama, a 46-year old maize farmer, was adjudged the Metropolitan Best Farmer, and for his prize, he took home a television set, mattress, a box of soap, bicycle, cloth, four pairs of Wellington boot and other farming implements, as well as a certificate.
In all, about 15 individuals and organizations were honoured at this year’s event, organized jointly by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and KMA, to reward distinguished and hardworking farmers for their contribution to agricultural development.
Mr Assibey-Antwi asked farmers in the metropolis to form strong and viable groups to have access to capacity-building opportunities and credit to enhance their operations.
The Metropolitan Director of Agriculture, Mr Amo Korang, lauded the award-winning farmers for their passion for farming.
He said MoFA would not relent in providing the needed technical support to ensure efficiency in the work of farmers.