Okyehene Gives Lands To YEA For Its Youth In Agric Project

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Okyehene Gives Lands To YEA For Its Youth In Agric Project

The Okyehene, Osagyefuo Ofori Panin has given out acres of land to the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) for the Youth In Agriculture project.

Okyehene Gives Lands To YEA For Its Youth In Agric ProjectThe release of the land is in fulfilment of a promise he made to the YEA during a discussion with the former CEO.

The Okyehene made the declaration of the release of the land when the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of YEA, Mr Kofi Baah Agyepong led other officers of the Agency to pay a courtesy call on Okyehene.

According to Osagyefuo Ofori Panin, Agriculture is important to the growth of the nation and that the YEA has the responsibility to engage the youth in productive ventures in agriculture especially, for them to turn the fortunes of the country around for the better.

He said, over one billion people live in extreme poverty of less than one dollar a day and over 60% of the adult population in Sub-Saharan Africa is engaged in Subsistence agriculture with reliance on rainfall, due to the absence of irrigation.

He said that, there is no all-year-round employment leading to mass rural poverty and unemployment.

He mentioned that the Youth In Agriculture module by the YEA has come at an opportune time to close that gap and create wealth for the youth.

Okyehene urged the YEA CEO to help build and develop the youth in agriculture, assist them with technical, logistical and financial support and guide them to make good use of the land.

He said the importance of Agriculture cannot be overemphasized.

The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, however called for a paradigm shift from commercial monoculture agriculture to sustainable organic farming to protect human health and the planet.

He said, boosting productivity, fostering competitiveness and ensuring that small-scale farmers have greater access to markets are key to West Africa realizing its full agricultural potential.

He urged the YEA and government to significantly invest in policy support that targets broader agricultural development and greater coordination among producers, private industry and the public and financial sectors.

According to him, although much is being done, more needs to be done in terms of basic infrastructure, investments, research and development and agricultural processing, stressing that farmers in Ghana have little incentive to increase production if they can’t sell their crops because of cheaper and easily accessible imports, whilst policy and market incentives are needed to improve the competitiveness of locally grown crops and increase their share in the consumer market.

“They need specific support to improve access to labour-reducing equipment and credit for post-harvest processing and marketing, and to strengthen their technical and organizational capacity,” he told YEA.

Kofi Baah Agyepong, said the Youth In Agriculture project is designed to support the youthful population to go into agriculture as stress-free as possible.

He said this initiative would not only redefine agriculture in the country but also offer jobs to several Ghanaian youth.

The project is targeted at 200,000 youth with one million acres of land available. Each person will be allocated five acres of land for crop farming.

He averred that government intends to train and equip some 60,000 youth as part of its Planting for Food and Jobs programme, and that there is the need for traditional leaders to support the YEA with parcels of land in order to make this project a success.

He also indicated that the Youth in Agriculture project has four components namely; Crops / Block Farm, Livestock and Poultry, Fisheries/Aquaculture, and Agribusiness.

He said, government through the YEA is giving free lands, fertilisers and also pay monthly stipends to the selected applicants whilst engaging experts and extension officers to make the project a success.

“We need to first of all train them or introduce them to mechanized agriculture. We will as well set them up. We will be coming up with people who want to go into pepper farming and all of that. We will be bringing up and set up alongside machines.”

According to him, the move seeks to boost the interest of young people towards agriculture by providing them with requisite skills and resources to improve the livelihood of young Ghanaians.

The Planting for Food and Job Campaign a policy that has been introduced by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to help address the declining growth of Ghana’s agricultural sector.

It is a five year long policy which is geared towards increasing food productivity and ensure food security for the country as well as reduce food import bills to the barest minimum.

The five major pillars of the policy
• Supply of Improved Seeds to farmers at subsidized prices (50% subsidy)
• Supply of fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices (50% price cut)
• Free extension services to farmers (1200 extension officers from the five main agric colleges already enrolled onto the program. Additional 4,000 extension assistants to be mobilized)
• Marketing opportunities for produce after harvest, (arrangements have been made to offer ready markets for farmers who will be participating in the campaign)
• E-Agriculture (a technological platform to monitor and track activities and progress of farmers through a database system)

Source:Newsghana.com.gh

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