THE Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, has challenged graduate agriculture teachers to play their roles of facilitating the implementation of agricultural polices in order to reduce poverty.
As agricultural teachers and torch bearers in agriculture education, the ministry observed, they were supposed to educate the people and students on government policies regarding the agricultural sector.
Kwadwo Adjei Darko, the sector minister, stated these in a speech, stressing that they were, supposed to provide extension services to farmers as well as advising them through functional literacy on latest and appropriate technologies in order to improve upon productivity in the sector.
He was addressing the Students Representative Council (SRC) Week celebration of the College of Agricultural-Mampong of the University of Education, Winneba at the weekend.
Speaking under the theme: 'Reducing hunger and poverty — the role of the graduate agriculture teacher', the minister’s speech said government considered them (agric teachers) as partners in the development of the agricultural sector to modernise it in order to reduce poverty and hunger and better the lot of farmers, particularly those in the rural areas.
'Let us play our parts well in giving hope to our people knowing well that we have chosen a noble profession and we must discharge it nobly with all seriousness and hard work that it deserves,' he advised .
Contributing, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, George Badu-Yeboah, noted that agriculture is seen as a form of punishment for students in schools, 'but it is high time we stopped this outmoded way of life and encourage the youth in taking up agriculture as a profession than a mere punishment.
On his part, the SRC president, Konoaba Paul, expressed concern about problems the faculty was facing such as lack of lecturers as they relied solely on part-time lecturers from other tertiary institutions for a number of courses being ran.
He observed that the practical training of students in the faculty was constrained by lack of agricultural machinery and simple farm tools.
Mr Konoaba was hopeful that government would come to the aid of the faculty to enable students live up to expectation.