Mr. John Peter Amewu, Hohoe District Chief Executive on Friday said the HIV/AIDS menace posed a potential threat to agricultural labour force and therefore urged the youth to lead upright lifestyles to avoid being infected by the disease.
He said the disease has the potential to significantly reduce the economic labour force, which employs over 60 percent of the national population.
Mr Amewu said this at the 23rd National Farmers Day celebration at Alavanyo-Kpeme, where Mr Gerhardt Kondor a farmer and Wli Dzogbega farming society were adjudged the Best District Farmer and Best Organized group respectively.
He said the continuous adoption of good agricultural practices through extension agents, combined with proven indigenous knowledge from farmers would contribute to high agricultural productivity and enhance food security and reduce poverty.
Mr Amewu said the district had repositioned itself for the take-off of the Millennium Challenge Account project, which provides a framework for modernizing the agricultural sector, a catalyst for rural transformation.
He commended government for adopting policies and interventions for making the agriculture sector the hub around which development would turn.
Mr Amewu however, said the major challenges still facing the sector were indiscriminate bushfires, difficulty in acquiring lands, weaker producer organizations, inefficient marketing systems, ill-timing of credit disbursement, high cost of inputs, aging farmers and low interest of the youth in the sector.
Mr Amewu congratulated the hard working farmers and fisherfolk for their determination to feed the nation even under difficult conditions.
A total of 20 individuals and nine societies, which distinguished themselves in the production chain received agricultural inputs and cash prizes.