“I nearly stopped farming after flood destroyed my 30,000 catfish pond” – 2022 National Best Farmer

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The CEO of Siribour Farms almost sobbed when bemoaning how, as a young farmer, he almost gave up on his farming company because, after three days of severe rain, over 30,000 catfish, including mature ones in fishponds, were carried away by flood, leaving him with nothing but tremendous debt.

He learned from the mayhem how to build a dam to irrigate his vegetables.

At the 38th National Farmer’s Day ceremony held at Koforidua in the Eastern region on Friday, Nana Yaw Siribour I the Akyempimhene of Asante Juaben, was named the nation’s best farmer overall for 2022.

“Accelerating Agriculture Development through Value Addition” served as the theme for the 2022 farmer’s day event.

According to Nana Siribour, he had the idea to enter farming after earning a high degree of education from many higher schools in Ghana.

This claim was made by the National Best Farmer on Saturday, December 3, 2022, after receiving his award, during his first radio interview on Koforidua-based Afeema FM with Kaakyire Kwasi Afari.

According to Nana Yaw Siribour, he began his agricultural company with 20 acres of land.

He has received five accolades, including the title of finest farmer in the country, for his contributions to agricultural nation-building.

He has four children.

The Siribour Farms Limited is owned by Nana Yaw Siribour, and it presently employs approximately 170 people, including 25 full-time employees and 145 casual laborers.

The farm, located at Ejura and Akokoa communities in the Ashanti Region, is highly diversified with crop enterprises covering the broad areas of grains and cereals ( 240 acres of maize, 60 acres of rice, soybean, cowpea), vegetables (okro, tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, carrot, sweet pepper), plantation crops (mango, cashew, 850 acres of oil palm, 80 acres of cocoa), timber species (15 acres of Teak, sugarcane, 47 acres of cassava.

The farm also has avocado pear, pineapple, watermelon, cocoyam, 5,000 mouse of yam and mushroom. The livestock enterprises consist of large ruminants (250 cattles), small ruminants (sheep and goats), local and exotic birds, 400 pigs, 3,000 guinea fowls.

Again, his farm can also boast of pigeons, turkeys, ostrich, 400 quails, geese, rabbits, guinea, 20,000 fowls, 50 turkey, over 300 rabbit, pigs, over 100 grass cutter, snails, palm weevil larvae (Akokuno), ducks and beehives. In addition, Nana Yaw Sarpong Siriboe has six silky bantam, 156 brahma and eight fish ponds stocked with catfish and tilapia.

The 43-years-old farmer told Kaakyire Kwasi Afari that even though farming is a lucrative industry, most of the youth feel discouraged to chart that path because they assume it requires huge funding, massive land and sophisticated technologies to begin.

“You can start farming with one acre of land. You can grow vegetables, make sure you have your market, sell it and reinvest the small profit into the farming and it will gradually grow,” he said.

He stated that in as much as funding is very essential, it is necessary to start small with the little capital and piece of land available to acquire firsthand knowledge and skills to subsequently leverage for funds in future.

“But if you start small, you will get the experience and evidence to seek for financial support. Access to capital in this country is difficult and it cuts across in all sectors, so at the initial stage, you can generate capital from banks and try to take advantage of government policies,” he stated.

He underlined that the current Best Farmer, who also works as a professional mechanical engineer, provided a case for why young people may actively participate in the sector, in contrast to the false belief that agriculture, especially farming, is for the ignorant, unskilled, and elderly.

He contends that a significant portion of the labor force, the youth, may be effectively utilized to boost output and profit margin.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com/Kaakyire Kwasi Afari

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