More Controversy Over National Best Farmer Awards

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..After Bribery Reports

Controversy keeps ruining the beauty of the recently held National Best Farmer award with the latest report saying, the Overall Best Farmer for the Prestea-Huni Valley District in the Western Region, has returned all the awards he received.

Mr. John Enimil, a 35-year-old, who was adjudged the Overall District Best Farmer on Friday, December 1, 2017, went home with four knapsack sprayers, a bicycle, five wellington boots, nine cutlasses, 2 radio sets, a flat-screen TV and a table-top fridge.

The farmer who picked up his district level awards at this year’s Farmers’ Day celebration held at Dumase near Bogoso, owns 120 acres of rubber plantation, 52 acres of cocoa farm, 10 acres of sugarcane farm, 10 acres of palm nut plantation, 2 acres of rice farm, 2 acres of cocoyam, 2 fish ponds, 300 fowls, 85 trees of pea and 360 coconut trees.

Currently, he has a total staff of 15 workers.

Barely a week after receiving his awards from the government, Mr. Enimil, has returned all his award package to the Agriculture Department in the District.

Last week, Faustina Asamoah, a major cocoa farmer, who has since gone public, is convinced she was robbed of the award simply because of her refusal to cough up the GH¢5, 000 bribe money.

Interestingly, she was previously called after an email sent her, saying she had been selected among three others and was billed to travel to Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, ahead of the awards’ ceremony last Friday, graced by President Nana Akufo-Addo, Minister of Food and Agriculture and several other dignitaries.

Confirming the news to Ghanaweb, Mr. Enimil explained the package given to him as an Overall Best Farmer was a disgrace to him and Prestea-Huni Valley.

According to him, “In 2016 the Overall Best Farmer received a brand new tricycle (Aboboya) so I was expecting the same or very important item than this bicycle”, he lamented.

“The District has embarrassed me and there is no way I will take the items again, they should take their items”, he added.

“What pains me a lot is a common certificate they didn’t give me some and these people think I’m not a person, they take we the farmers for granted”, he told www.ghanaweb.com.

He also revealed that the Member of Parliament for the area has called him to exercise patience as the District is trying to resolve the issue but he added that he is not convinced with the MP’s call.

Meanwhile, the District Director of Agriculture of the District, Mr. Gabriel Adjargo has declined to comment on the issue.

The situation has generated a lot of hullabaloo in the District.

This year’s celebration was under the theme, ” Farming for Food and Jobs”.

In the case of the lady farmer from Assin Edubease area in the Central Region, she disclosed that she has won awards at both the district and regional but was robbed off the national award because the organizers of the 2017 celebrations won’t give her the awards unless she paid the money.

According to Madam Faustina who revealed she has received awards for district, regional in previous years told Adom TV “I believe that I was short changed because I didn’t pay the said money”.

The angry farmer said days before the awards, the organizers paid an inspection visit to her farm, and before the team left, they “told me I should look forward to their phone call”.

The suspicious woman said she was later called to be informed that she had been picked for the national awards programme with three gentlemen and so she should prepare for the journey to Kumasi.

”I was called in the morning informing me that I had won national so I should get ready so they take me to Cape Coast then to Kumasi…” she added.

However, what was expected to be a dream come true was short lived as the following day, she was called on phone by the same man who earlier called that she had been picked and then demanded that, she pays GH¢5, 000 to be giving to the one in-charge of the award.

Madam Faustina said she was told the payment of the money had become necessary because there were some women who were against her selection hence the amount.

She said “the day before I was called that I had won, I was told that some women were opposing my award so I should get ¢50 million to entice the one in charge of the. I questioned what the money was for but he couldn’t tell why.  So, I asked that he finds out but he came back with no good news except to say that he knew that I have advantage over so many things”.

The woman farmer said a while later, she was called again and told that she was not selected and that it was just a slip of tongue that led to her name being mentioned in the first place and so she should forget about going to Kumasi where they were arranged to spend a week.

Interestingly, before the visits and many phone calls to her, the onetime district and regional farmer had received an email announcing her selection as one of four best farmers to be awarded on the national famers’ day celebration.

“Moments later, he called to tell me that I didn’t win but it was a slip of tongue. This was at a time I had received an email telling me I was among four winners’ three men and myself”.

She concluded that she was snubbed because she refused to play the game of those behind the awards, hence they gave it to the highest bidder.

 

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