There have been several calls by many stakeholders and agriculture oriented people that seeks to encourage the country’s youth to take up the mantle by themselves and take advantage of the agricultural sector to create jobs and wealth opportunities to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country through the many youth in agriculture programs initiated by the government.
However, the 2009 National Best Farmer and chairman of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana, NFFAWAG, Mr. Davis Narh Korboe has reproached the approach of forcing the youth into the agric sector.
According to the chairman who appeared as guest on Rite FM’s Agric Forum, forcing the youth into the sector was not the best way to attract them into the sector.
“Stakeholders and other key players in the sector should stop forcing the youth to go into agriculture,” he remarked.
He said the agricultural sector was one that needs people with passion to succeed.
“The agric sector, unlike other sectors of the economy, needs people with passion and discipline to guarantee their excellence because it is one of the few areas that needs people with such character,” Mr. Narh Korboe asserted.
He described the agric sector as “a very lucrative sector” which requires the necessary commitment to sustain it.
“Agriculture remains a very lucrative job alternative that needs all the necessary devotion to realize its potentials and the youth rather needs to have a role model whom they can follow because agriculture was now business,” he indicated.
He however added that the youth ought to be supported to make a headway in the sector if they are to take up the business of farming to move the country forward economically.
The NFFAWAG boss who expressed concern over the current farmer population in the country said the situation should raise concerns over food security challenges in the country.
“Research has shown that the current farming force is made up of eighty percent (80%) aged farmers with the remaining twenty percent (20%) being youthful,” Mr. Korboe disclosed. “This is not a good development towards ensuring food security and sustainability and hence the needed immediate actions to lure the youth should be adopted.”
According to the 2009 National Best Farmer, the NFFAWAG has instituted a partnership programme to assist the youth with all the needed materials and inputs to encourage them to go into farming.
The FMSL boss who recounted the ‘difficult start’ most members of the award winners encountered when they decided to venture into the agric sector explained that the association was committed towards ensuring that the youth get the necessary support.
“The NFFAWAG has arrangements with the University of Ghana to train four hundred (400) potential Agric students on practical agriculture and also educate them on the benefits of farming, after which the association will provide them with land, fertilizers, inputs and other logistics to establish them and ensure the provision of ready markets for their produce,” Mr. Korboe noted adding that “plans are underway to extend the programme to other tertiary institutions.”
The 2009 national best farmer said that as part of measures to boost the Agric Sector and also lure the youth into it, NFFAWAG is collaborating with government to establish a Special Agric Fund with the interest rate ranging between 2 and 5 percent for easy accessibility by farmers and the youth who want to go into farming.
He said that NFFAWAG has duly ironed out the differences between the GNAFF and the MOFA which is going to pave way for the due recognition of the former as an FBO.
“NFFAWAG’s has successfully ironed out issues between the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF) and the Ministry of Food Agriculture (MOFA) and so GNAFF can be recognized as a registered Farmer Based Organization (FBO) by the Agric Ministry,” he disclosed.
Source; Prince Paul Amuzufirstname.lastname@example.org