I have been waiting for an initiative like the Youth in Innovative Agriculture support Programme for sometime now, and I think this is an answered prayer. According to the World Bank Group, Agriculture is the engine of growth of every economy. This should be a great opportunity for a country like Ghana being blessed with a fertile land to have most of her population entering the Agriculture sector especially the Youth, but this isn't the case in this country. The question I have always been asking myself is, why are the youth (Active force of the country) running away from a sector known to be an engine of growth of the Economy? Is there something wrong somewhere? What is the problem, and is this innitiative capable of solving the problem? I'm optimistic that this innitiative is capable of solving these problems highlighted below;
#Difficulty in the accessibility of Fund or loans:
One if the problems most youth faces in this country is difficulty in accessing fund or loans from financial institutions. This is the biggest burden the Ghanaian youths are facing in the Agriculture sector. Financial institutions usually are always unwilling to give out loans to farmers, especially the young ones. Since the ministry of Finance is funding this Programme, the problem of inaccessibility of fund or credit facilities from financial institutions is solved.
#High interest rate with rigid payment scheme:
I'm much confident that, the interest the beneficiaries of this Programme would pay would be very affordable and convenient as compared to the high interest rate on loans financial institutions charge.
#Lack of Supervision:
Most young farmers are the ones who manages, and supervises their own activities. I know very well that NEIP would set up a supervisory team that would be charged to supervise the activities of the beneficiaries of this Programme. Nevertheless, I'm confident that a technical support and expertise won't be absence since a huge resource is invested into this programme.
This Programme would be a very effective tool for reducing or eradicating the food Shortage problem the country has been facing in some few months/years ago.
With just few of the benefits of this innitiative stated; I will plead with the NEIP to discharge their without any favouritism or partisanship. This Programme would be a success if we eschew politicism from the selection process. To my surprise, the Youth in Innovative Agriculture Support programme saw the application of 5316 like-minded young Ghanaians just the day it was officially opened to the general public to apply. The application will end on the 5th of February 2022 and so, I will urge all Youth who are into Agriculture or a interested in Agriculture to apply for this life-changing opportunity. May God bless our Homeland Ghana.
The writer (Justice Phinehas Gyesi) is the Founder/Executive Director of Giveth Hand International, an NGO with one of its core values as promoting Agriculture in the country. The writer can be contacted via email on [email protected]