The lack of transparency regarding the type of support available for youth interested in agriculture, coupled with the difficulties in accessing credit from financial institutions, have been identified as major reasons preventing
Ghanaian youth from venturing into the sector. In addition, land acquisition and the ignorance of farmers on the basic skills in modern trends of farming was not only affecting the quality of agricultural produce but the growth of the sector.
This was contained in the 2013 Agro-Policy Performance Barometer Report that was launched in Accra by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC), a non-governmental organisation.It was jointly launched by the Board Chair of GTLC, Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana, Mr Theodore Antwi-Asare.About the report.
The 50-page report focused on evaluating the practical effectiveness of some agriculture policies in Ghana with specific reference to small-scale commercial production of rice and tomatoes.
Data for the report was collected from 10 small-scale commercial rice and tomato production areas in nine administrative regions, five of which gathered information on rice and four on tomato, while one centre generated data on both crops.
Specific areas Mr Antwi-Asare said the main areas for the evaluation were the skill level of farmers, how basic skills in farming were acquired and the land size cultivated in the 2013 farming season.
According to him, the report revealed that many farmers acquired skills through sheer practice and were not aware of productivity-enhancing methods.
“The majority cultivated one five acres of land, depending on tractors and hoes for land preparation, and it took them over three weeks to access a plough service,” Mr Antwi-Asare said.
He, therefore, called on the government to facilitate efficient policy implementation by developing a clear cut strategy that targeted small-scale farmers, especially women and the youth.
“The government must also support them in the form of land acquisition and preparation equipment and further address their concerns by making funds and new farming methods available to them,” Mr Antwi-Asare said.