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Ghana reinvigorates agricultural human resource base with pro … – Myjoyonline

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President Nana Akufo-Addo is predicting a robust agricultural sector to foster food sufficiency as the nation launches the Youth in Agriculture Programme (YIAP).
“Sustaining agriculture depends on the youth,” he argued, saying the Programme aimed at reinvigorating the sector’s human resource base.
YIAP is one of the key agro-based initiatives of the Government to motivate the youth to accept and appreciate farming and food production as a commercial venture – taking up farming as a lifetime vocation.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, in an address at the launch in Accra, said the Programme was being implemented to leverage opportunities for the youth along the agricultural value chain.
It is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and Youth Employment Agency (YEA) under the second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PfJ) policy.
The four main components are Crops and Block Farm, Livestock and Poultry, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Agribusiness.
Under Livestock and Poultry, the component targets young unemployed men and women to take to the production of livestock and poultry – broilers, layers, guinea fowls and piggery.
Beneficiary youth will be assisted with day-old chicks in the case of broilers, layers and guinea fowls. They will also be provided with housing, feeding, drugs and vaccines until they are weaned off the Programme in about a year.
Similarly, breeding sows and pigs together with the other inputs will be provided.
There is also a programme for other animals such as cattle, sheep and goats and other stocks such as rabbit and grasscutter, with the participating farmers being trained since animal production is a specialised area.
The President acknowledged the fact that youth unemployment remained one of the major challenges the country had faced over the years.
He said as such, the Programme was to serve as an avenue for the beneficiaries to harness and maximise their agricultural potential for economic growth.
The initiative will assist the youth to be empowered in producing enough food crops, meat and fish by adopting modern agronomic practices and farming methods.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said the Government’s agenda was to improve the erroneous impression the youth had about farming.
“We are talking about a sector and industry which can create wealth,” he noted.
He stressed that there was no single sector of the economy that had contributed so much to improving the living conditions of the people other than agriculture.
Dr. Bryan Acheampong, Minister of Food and Agriculture, was worried that the core workforce in the agricultural sector was ageing.
There had been a consistent drift of the youth from the sector to other sectors, he stated, noting that the YIAP would eventually help to change that narrative.
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