HAVING brought honour to the Tepa Area of the Ashanti Region, Mr Samuel Awuni, the current national best cocoa farmer, is to be honoured by the Tepa Traditional Council at the next Akwasidae in January, 2011.
The Omanhene of Tepa, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, made this known when 42-year-old Awuni paid a courtesy call at his palace at Tepa to show him his award, a brand new Toyota Hilux double cabin vehicle.
He commended Mr Awuni for his hard work that had brought honour to the Ahafo-Ano North District.
Mr Awuni, a native of northern Ghana, who was born and bred at Tepa, owns over 100 acres of cocoa farm at Sanfifire, a village about 30 kilometres from Tepa where he produces more than 1,000 bags of cocoa in a season.
Mr Awuni’s example appears unique. He has never contracted bank loans in his farming career and he says he wants to use his award to inspire the youth to take up agriculture as a profession.
“It’s a business no one can underestimate and I think my example will push more of our youth into agriculture,” he stressed.
The man believes the future is even brighter for him and he hopes to win the national best farmer award in the not-too-distant future.
Mr Awuni completed basic education in 1987 but as he did not receive any help to further his education, he decided to go into farming.
“I sought help from the Cocoa Services Division and I can say that the officers helped me a lot.
“In the beginning, I started with a small cocoa farm inter-planted with plantain which helped me to get some money to expand the farm in course of time,” he stated.
Mr Awuni disputed the assertion in certain quarters that without bank support, one cannot engage in large-scale agriculture.
He said “Everything is done through planning. I am happy that even without bank loans, I have been able to make some headway in my business.”
Mr Awuni bought additional lands and in 2004, he won the district best cocoa farmer at the national farmers’ day. That was when he owed 40 acres of cocoa farm.
“The award encouraged me to work even harder and in 2006, I was awarded the regional best cocoa farmer,” he stated.
The stage was set for him to target the national award, which eventually arrived this year.
Mr Awuni has also entered into large-scale oil palm plantation and today he has 24 acres to his credit.
The best cocoa farmer has nine permanent workers working in his farm.
He says there is honesty in agriculture and that with the needed support, the youth can gain a lot from the business.
Mr Awuni is married to Rebecca and the couple have six children.
According to him, he was taking keen interest in the education of his children because education holds the key to the development of the human being and the society at large.