Government to make agriculture attractive to the youth
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has reiterated government’s commitment to providing incentives to individuals and groups interested in commercial agricultural production to improve yield.
He said agriculture was a scientific business, therefore it required professionals who would use scientific methods and modern practices to ensure high productivity. He said government would provide the youth with the necessary logistical and technical support to excel in the agricultural sector in order to ensure food security and sustainable national development.
Vice President Bawumia gave the assurance in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Sagre Bambangi, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, at the launch of this year’s National Food and Agric Show (FAGRO) in Accra.
The five-day event would be organised from September 26 to 30 in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale. The programme would be held on the theme: “Creating Jobs in Agriculture-Northern Region in Focus”.There would be exhibitions, agribusiness booth camp, women in agriculture leadership summit, and agriculture dialogue among other things to whip up interest and showcase potentials in the country’s agricultural sector.
Dr Bawumia said there must be a paradigm shift in the practice of agriculture in the country by adopting modern practices such as irrigation farming and strategies that would add value to the agricultural value chain.
He said the New Patriotic Party administration was committed to using agriculture to creating jobs hence the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative that would ensure food security in the country and export surplus foods to earn foreign exchange. Dr Bawumia noted that Ghana had huge potentials to use agriculture to reduce poverty and become net exporter of agricultural produce.
He said agriculture should not be left to the aged and the uneducated populace but needed the energetic youth and professionals to venture into it in order to ensure high productivity. The Vice President said government had contained the army worm infestation that damaged food crops in some parts of the country in recent times and gave the assurance that it would do everything possible to protect the investments of farmers.
Mr Salifu Saeed, the Northern Regional Minister, expressed delight that his region would host this year’s programme and noted that it would expose farmers in the three regions of the north to new crop varieties and modern farming methods and practices. He said the event had come at an opportune time when government had introduced the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative and urged farmers to tap into it to achieve the maximum benefit.
He said the event would provide a platform for farmers to network and make agriculture attractive to the youth so as to curtail the mass migration of the northern youth to the south for non-existent jobs.