General News of 2014-05-27

Youth must change perception about agric – Sakara

Dr. Abu Sakara, Convention Peoples Party (CPP) presidential candidate in 2012, has challenged the youth to change their perception about agriculture.

He said agriculture production is key in the changing of the architecture of the economy.

Dr. Sakara was speaking at the Ghana Youth Agrifair and Youth in Agriculture stakeholders’ forum in Accra.

The forum forms part of the closing activities of the year-long African Union (AU) at 50 celebrations, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in partnership with the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG).

The forum, which was under the theme: “Promoting Youth in Agriculture: It is time to walk the talk” seeks to interrogate issues aimed at realizing the potential of the agricultural sector as the vehicle for youth development and Africa’s economic transformation.

Dr. Sakara said the reason why the nation was not making progress in agriculture was because of the systems and the level of intervention in the sector, which was very low.

He said Africa’s current food market, currently standing at $313 billion, is expected to grow to $1 trillion in 2030, which the youth must take advantage of.

He called on government to leverage the amount of investments that goes into the agriculture sector in order to attract the youth to it.

Dr. Sakara also asked the government to re-invest the country’s oil money into agriculture infrastructure to make the nation competitive.

He urged the government to solve the systemic problems that tend to hinder the activities of small-scale farmers for them to be productive, and to ensure the use the mobile platforms to engage the youth more and to attract them into agriculture.

Alhaji E.A. Mahama, the Coordinator of the Youth in Agriculture Programme, at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, noted that, the issue of youth unemployment was not associated with only Ghana “therefore we must appreciate what we have and find solutions to our problems.”

He said the youth must develop interest in agricultural activities to reduce the rate of unemployment and also help in building a strong economy.

He said the Youth in Agriculture programme was a major government intervention policy to attract the youth into the agriculture sector and accept it as commercial venture.

Source: GNA
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