Mining exposure propels GTS workshop assistant manager to win National Best Aquaculture Farmer Award

Mavis Hawa Koomson. Minister of Fisheries & Aquaculture Development with Godfred Dadson

From working as an assistant workshop manager at GTS Drilling, a 43-year-old native of Abeadze Dominase in the central region (province), Godfred Dadson has broken the odds to win the 2023 National Best Aquaculture Farmer of the Year award.

Having worked with GTS Drilling for several years now and decided to enter agriculture, Dadson had to spend extra to reclaim the land that had been degraded through the activities of illegal mining (galamsey). He teamed up with his colleague, Richard Kofie, GTS Operations Coordinator, to add professionalism to their farming expedition. The duo ensured the necessary environmental considerations for using the reclaimed land, including conducting professional soil assessments as well as sunk boreholes for fresh water sources. In addition, both soil and water samples were tested to ensure they supported aquaculture farming.

With the initial challenges addressed, GTS Drilling, a wholly Ghanaian drilling company that serves the mining industry in the country, supported Dadson and his counterpart by providing an excavator to clear the land as well as encouraging the two partners to make use of spare parts from the company’s workshop in erecting the necessary structures for their operations. The duo subsequently set up their structures within a space of three years, with scrap materials constituting a chunk of the materials used for the initial fencing and other structures.

Due to hard work and commitment to ensuring they succeed, the farm has now grown into a fully fledged integrated farming establishment, including a fishery, cattle, sheep, rabbits, chickens, guinea fowl, and vegetables. It was therefore not surprising that Dadson was adjudged the National Best Aquaculture Farmer at the 39th National Farmers Day Celebration Awards held at the University of Mines and Technology at Tarkwa in the Western Region recently.

Among a total of 16 award winners, Dadson took the prize for his fish farm, having raised 10,000 catfish and 15,000 tilapia. He attributes his success to the skills he gained at GTS Drilling, which prepared him to reach his present status. “The seeds of success are sown through the synergy of teamwork and the disciplined cultivation of knowledge. Just as precision in drilling extracts the richness from the earth, collaborative effort and rigorous training plow the path for us to harvest a bountiful future in farming,” said Dadson.

For his prize, the sponsors awarded him a Kia double-cabin pickup vehicle to enable him to expand his operations.

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