Some 100 unemployed graduates with expertise in agriculture have been employed by the Department of Agriculture in the Volta Region as extension officers to help in the implementation of government's 'Planting for food and jobs' programme.
The recruitment of the agents through the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) would help augment the alarming extension officer-farmer ratio in the region, which currently stands at one to 2,500.
They are also expected to advise and train farmers on new and modern planting and farming methods that would lead to bumper harvest, as well as introduce them to appropriate methods of controlling pests and diseases on their farms, among others.
Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Regional Minister, at a day's orientation programme for the recruits, noted that agriculture is the most important sector in the Ghanaian economy followed by health and education.
He explained that “if the people eat well, they would not fall sick and go to hospital and our children will remain in school.”
He therefore urged the recruits to give off their best to ensure the success of the policy.
Dr. Letsa, who chairs the Volta Regional Technical Committee for the implementation of the policy, also advised the extension agents to prepare themselves for future jobs in the agric sector and others.
Kofi Larbi, Volta Regional Director of Department of Agriculture, in his welcome address, urged the recruits to acquire more knowledge in rice, maize and vegetable productions since these are the priority areas in the Volta Region.
He advised them to discharge their duties diligently since it would impact their future recruitment to the Department of Agriculture and other related sectors.
Dr. Larbi also charged the District Directors of Agriculture in the region to train the extension agents to be posted to their districts in agric extension methodologies to help them perform their tasks effectively.
Gibril Abdul Razak, Ho ( [email protected] )