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01.06.2016 General News

Boost For The Youth As USAID Helps Improve Agriculture In Ghana

By Maame Owusuaa
Participants at the workshop
LISTEN JUN 1, 2016
Participants at the workshop

In a bid to improve the agricultural sector with special attention to the youth in agric programme including the challenges and opportunities for mainstreaming youth in Ghana's agriculture and in the quest to give meaning to this the USAID- Feed the future through the agricultural policy support programme(APSP) in collaboration with syecomp Ghana limited,a reputable and experience agricultural research and geospatial mapping company to implement an advocacy initiative on youth in agriculture.

The research and advocacy activity is geared towards having a dialogue, discussing, debating and contextualising issues with regards to “Improving Approaches to Mainstreaming Gender in Ghana’s Youth Policy and Youth in Agriculture Programme; focusing on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Market-Oriented Value Chains”.

Speaking at the opening of a days workshop in the volta regional capital the group project manager of syecomp Ghana limited Mr solomon Alavi indicated that the project aims at generating new ideas on how to directly engage youth in more diverse and productive roles in agriculture in a manner that also offers secondary benefits to the larger community.

It is an entry point for the thought processes, information exchanges, and potential actions that can enable young Ghanaians to effectively engage in agriculture and promote youth-based solutions in emerging Climate Smart Agriculture and agricultural value chain programs and projects.

He advised the youth to imbibe and embrace the concept since it has the potential of making them gain employment and give them skills to support themselves and create entrepreneurs in the near future.

Key outcome of the workshop activities is the production of a position paper to document key recommendations to effectively engage young people in Agriculture with innovative entry opportunities across the agricultural value chain in Ghana.

The Youth in Agriculture Programme (YIAP) is a Government of Ghana (GOG) agricultural sector initiative with an objective of motivating the youth to accept and appreciate farming/food production as a commercial venture, thereby taking up farming as a life time vocation.

The YIAP has the task and responsibility of mobilizing the youth to take up farming and its other related activities as life time vocation. By so doing the following benefits will be derived from the employment for the youth, through the provision of tractor services and agro – inputs.

Agriculture is important to the development of any nation, Ghana being no exception. Development must include the youth and therefore the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) seeks to encourage their participation in the agricultural sector. This effort seeks to change the negative perception the youth have of participation in agriculture, (farmers) as uneducated, unskilled, physical labourers with extremely low economic return. Modern agriculture is more than tilling the soil and animals. The sector today offers career opportunities in research, environment, financial management, engineering and other technical areas for the youth to explore.

The introduction of the Youth in Agriculture Programme (YIAP) is necessary and vital to facilitate food and nutrition security in Ghana and in the future.

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