The District Director of Agriculture in-charge of the Talensi-Nadam in the Upper East Region, Mr Gideon Owiredu, has advised the youth to take advantage of the government policy of 'Youth in Agriculture project' to go into farming.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at Pwalugu where he addressed farmers' groups whose tomatoes have been affected by plant diseases, he said the District Agriculture Directorates in the Region had started compiling youth groups who want to undertake farming venture to assist them.
The Farmers' groups are made up of local civic coalition groups formed by Grassroots Africa, an NGO working in the area of poverty reduction and empowering citizens at the local level to address issues confronting them at their community level.
Mr Owiredu explained that under the project each group of youth farmers is provided with farm inputs, their farms are ploughed them and that they were only to specify crop that could do better.
He noted that their work would not be all that tedious and it was a strategy adopted by Government to encourage the youth to take agriculture farming as a venture.
Mr Owiredu noted that the project was highly profitable and would be beneficial to the youth and their entire families when patronized.
He noted that apart from mitigating poverty in the Region it would help prevent the youth from travelling to the southern parts of the country to search for non-existing jobs and sometimes fall prey of bad people.
He indicated that it was one of the best strategies that could be used to bridge the North and South development gaps, and urged parents to encourage their children to take advantage of the system.
On the issue of the plant diseases that affect their tomatoes every cropping season, the Director said the plant diseases could emanated from multiply sources including fungal, infestation of the plants by insect which hide under the leaves of the plant and destroy them despite spraying with insecticides.
Mr Owiredu also said some of the insects could infect the plant with disease by just sitting on the plants.
He said some of the diseases were fungal infections and appealed to the farmers not to water their plants too much and constantly.
He also advised the farmers to adopt shifting cultivation through either maize or rice among others.
He indicated that he had already informed the Regional Plant Officer and a meeting would be scheduled to meet the farmers and advise them on the appropriate measures to take to solve the problem.
He assured the farmers that he was ever ready to assist them address their concerns and noted that plans were far advanced to teach the farmers to adopt good farming practices to enable them increase their produce.
The farmers thanked the Director for his concern and said they were ready and prepared to listen to technical advice and to adopt good farming practices.