The Youth Employment Programme is aimed at renewing the interest and commitment of the youth in agriculture, Mr Kwabena Sintim-Aboagye, West Akyem District Chief Executive, said at the weekend.
Speaking at the West Akyem District celebration of the National Farmers Day at Asuokaw, Mr Sintim-Aboagye said it was government's belief that the involvement of the youth in farming would help reduce hunger, poverty and deprivation and most importantly provide jobs and wealth for the youth who constitute the majority of the population.
He announced that 200 youths, 168 males and 32 females had been registered for the Youth in Agriculture module of the Youth Employment Programme.
Mr Sintim-Aboagye said the District Assembly had taken delivery of 1,000 bags of fertilizers from government for distribution to the youth and promised that additional inputs would soon be made available to them.
He said last year, under the Agriculture Support Programme, 84 farmers were supported with a loan facility of 84 million cedis, together with inputs such as seed maize, fertilizers and chemicals to cultivate 250 acres of maize.
This year, about 260 farmers benefited from the same programme, with 500 acres of maize under cultivation.
He said 32 farmers had also been trained in grasscutter rearing and provided with hutches, breeding stocks and a loan facility of 6.1 million cedis per farmer.
In all 23 farmers were presented with awards with Mr Godwin Wiredu of Sukrom Bethlehem adjudged as the overall District Best Farmer, taking home four bundles of roofing sheets, a bicycle, half piece of wax print and six cutlasses.
The Adeiso Methodist Junior Secondary School also received a 21-inch colour television set for being the best school in agriculture.