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 Mentorship Programs Key to Attract Youth Into Agric

The Chief Executive Officer of Growshort International, Mr. Moses Baffour Awuah has called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG), and other key players in the agricultural sector to organize periodic mentorship programs to encourage and attract the youth into agriculture to create employment opportunities.

Mr. Moses Baffour Awuah who spoke in an interview with Rite news’ Austin Ofori Addo said the country’s youth always looked up to successful people for motivation and therefore urged them to avail themselves to the youth for such opportunities.

“The youth always look up to those who have made it in life and aims at being like them and so the award winners making themselves available and close to the youth will enthuse them to venture or adhere to the call that the youth should go into agriculture,” he opined.

The Chief Executive Officer of Growshort International was confident that the agric sector has the potential to employ more than it currently does if the proposed mentorship programmes were invested in the sector.

“The agriculture sector which is already employing over 50% of the Ghanaian population can employ more youth if such mentorship programs are carried out to enlighten them on the business and other opportunities in the agriculture value chain.

“There are a lot of people who can take this mantle upon themselves to spread the good news to the youth like the 2009 national best farmer, Mr. Davis Narh Koboe who is the chairman of the award winners and all the other award winners in the country,” he pushed further.

To him, the role of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture as the policy implementation body for the agric sector provides it with a vital role to play to ensure that the message and the sensitization go down well to the youth because many do not see the sector as lucrative and attractive enough due to the perceived notion that agriculture is the job for the poor and illiterate.

Though he commended the planting for food and job policy for its objectives of providing the required jobs for young people, he was however skeptical about the policy achieving its goals as there is “nothing” new in the policy, adding that the proposed mentorship was the way to go.

“Though the planting for food and jobs is a good program, it will not meet the targeted people who are the youth because there is nothing in the policy to attract them,” he said. “The only way out is the mentorship and sensitization program and the other stakeholders should also educate the youth about how they can also venture into value addition which is another component of the sector.”

Mr. Moses Baffour Awuah thus called on the media which is an important tool on which the youth can fall, to propagate their message, create the awareness and entice them to go into agriculture especially because most of the country’s young people in the sector are above 50 years and so there is the need for fresh blood to boost crop production both for export and local consumption to enhance food security.

By: Austin Ofori Addo/ritefmonline.org/austinofri.addo@gmail.com

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