Government determined to modernise agriculture – Ahwoi
Government would establish Junior Farm Field and Life Schools (JFFLS) in all metropolises, municipals and districts towards modernising agriculture in the country.
Under the programme, the youth between 12 and 18 years would be trained in local agricultural skills with modern focus.
Mr Kwasi Ahwoi, Minister for Food and Agriculture, announced this in a speech read on his behalf at the opening ceremony of the 28th games, conference and exhibition of Agricultural College at Ohawu in Ketu-North District.
It was under the theme, “Agricultural Education, a tool for Sustainable Food Security.”
He said beneficiaries of JFFLS would be organised into cadre corps towards modernising the sector.
Mr Ahwoi said the system would help improve the living standards of the youth in “insecure communities” and observed that students from agricultural institutions lacked skills to transform the sector.
He said as a result, farmers had to experiment for several times before appropriate and modern methods of farming reached them.
Mr Ahwoi said government would incorporate agriculture education at all levels to support the modernisation process.
He said an agricultural education syllabus would be formulated to promote agriculture as a business rather than as a form of punishment in schools.
Mr Ahwoi said farmer participation in agricultural knowledge and information exchange would be encouraged towards increasing productivity in the sector and ensure sustainable food security.
Mr Joseph Amenowode, Volta Regional Minister urged students and the youth to discard perceptions that agriculture was for the poor, rather it was the “soul” of the country and should be treated with all seriousness for its fullest benefits to the people.
He pledged government's commitment to invest in the sector to transform it and called on stakeholders especially the private sector to support government to achieve its aim.
Mr Julius Ametepe, Volta Regional Director of Ministry of Food and Agriculture urged government to employ graduates from agriculture training institutions as extension officers to address serious deficits in agriculture extension officer-farmer ratio in the country.
Mr Samuel Kofi Sabblah, Principal of Ohawu Agricultural College, appealed to government to help improve infrastructure at all agricultural training colleges in the country.
Mr Hayford Kodua, National President of Agricultural College Students Union (ACSU) noted that agricultural colleges in the country received the lowest government financial support and appealed to government to increase their allowances.