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13.10.2005 Regional News

Institute introduces new concept into youth agriculture

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Kumasi, Oct. 13, GNA - The Kumasi Institute for Tropical Agriculture (KITA) in collaboration with Ministry of Manpower Development, Youth and Employment are introducing a new agricultural concept for the youth under the second phase of the Skills Training and Employment Placement (STEP) programme on vocational agriculture. Under the concept known as the District Youth Co-operative Farming Village concept, co-operative centres where the youth will be trained in beekeeping, grass-cutter rearing, snail and mushroom farming, rabbit production, soya bean cultivation and maize production would be established in the districts.

Dr Noah Owusu-Takyi, Director of KITA and Project Co-ordinator disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi.

He said the new concept was expected to bring the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) to the grassroots and consequently help provide employment for the unemployed as well as the semi-employed. Dr Owusu-Takyi said the centres would serve as employment, production and marketing centres, while the Department of Co-operatives, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the National Service Secretariat would be involved in the concept.

The centres will focus on sustainability, credit recovery, marketing and precision farming to ensure that the youth remained in agriculture.

Dr Owusu-Takyi said 10 centres had so far been established and called on District Chief Executives to avail themselves of the opportunity to make judicious use of the poverty alleviation fund. He said "if they use the centres for the disbursement of the poverty alleviation fund to the co-operative groups it would be easy for the assemblies to recover their money."