Country Representative for Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) Ghana, Mr. Kafui Kwesi Agbe is urging the government to come up with a high-level policy to improve the production and Modernization of Agriculture which will help drive sustainable industrialization and help ensure more youth are engaged in the Agricultural sector.
He wants the government to stimulate its political will for the transformation of the sector through the youth. “If the government does not invest in the youth, new technology, and innovation, we will face the threat of hunger,” he said.
He said that some challenges facing the agriculture sector in Ghana are low technical and entrepreneurial skills, limited opportunities, and inadequate awareness of agriculture by youth. He intimated that with agriculture being the economic base for many African countries, it is a sector that can absorb the majority of unemployed youth as skilled and semi-skilled labor.
Mr. Agbe made these remarks in an interview with this reporter on the sidelines of a day’s forum on the theme: “de-risking agriculture as a means of making the sector attractive to the Ghanaian youth” was organized by Participatory Development Associates in collaboration with Young Professionals for Agricultural Development here in Accra.
The Country Representative noted that the rural agriculture economy of Ghana is estimated to be operating only at 20% of its potential. “This is because the sector continues to consist mainly of smallholder farmers using unimproved seeds, fake chemical fertilizers, and have no irrigation facility,” he said.
“An item such as cutlass can be replaced with a simple slasher and other simple mechanized equipment to depict the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana agenda which is the current programme of the agricultural sector” he added.
He indicated that most of the award items presented at the 35th Farmer’s Day celebration do not reflect the theme of the celebration thus “Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture towards Agribusiness Development”.
“How can you enhance small scale agriculture towards agribusiness development whiles awards presented is the same cutlass that leads to more drudgery nature of farming,” he asked.
He used the opportunity to send Special congratulations to Mr. Ayuba Jibrila a farmer from the Ashanti Region who walked away as the National Best Youth Farmer at Ho and Michael Afachaw, a 31-year-old youth farmer of Asuom in the Kwaebibirem Municipal of the Eastern Region who was adjourned the overall best farmer in the Municipality.
“We must encourage all Metropolitan, Municipal and District authorities to upgrade their award items to reflect the objectives of Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana” he added.