The youth can make it through agriculture- Minister
2009-12-02 19:53:26This article has been read 784 times.
Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi, has advised the youth to take up agriculture as a business to reverse the country’s poverty level.
He said agriculture should not be left in the hands of aging farmers.
Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi gave the advice in Tamale in a speech read on his behalf at a two-day "Value Chain Practitioners Forum" under the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP).
The Value Chain Approach is the focus of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in line with the Food and Agricultural Sector Development Policy.
Mr. Ahwoi said agricultural pursuit could be made very attractive to the youth through mechanisation and sourcing of markets to make agri-business profitable.
He said MOFA was importing 1,000 tractors to facilitate boost the Agriculture Mechanisation Service centres to ensure that more food was produced in the country.
He said market access for northern farmers was very crucial if they were to make money and overcome poverty.
Mr. Ahwoi said the potential of the North becoming the bread basket of the country far exceeded challenges facing the people.
He stressed the importance of government contracting two loans from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the African Development Bank for the NRGP to harness potentials for rapid development of the area.
He said to get market access, the Northern Savannah area had to translate the comparative advantages it had in some agricultural commodities and competitive advantages in terms of quality, quantity and reduction in cost of production in order to increase competitiveness.
Mr. Stephen Sumani Nayina, Regional Minister said the North had been blessed with some economic trees that needed no capital to grow.
He mentioned the shea nut and dawa dawa trees, which impact positively on the lives of the people.
Mr. Nayina deplored the wanton destruction of the sheanut trees by some farmers who are into mango cultivation.
He said if the practice was not stopped it would deprive rural women of their livelihood.