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Business News of Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Source: Seth Opoku Agyemang, Contributor

There might not be next generation of farmers - PNC Secretary

File photo of a cassava farmer File photo of a cassava farmer

The Bono Regional Secretary of People National Convention (PNC) Mr. Abdul Samad Nurudeen, has warned that there might not be a next generation of farmers in the country if the country continues to treat farmers the way governments are treating them.

According to him, the young among the farming communities are hardly interested in agriculture but rather migrating to urban centres to seek for greener pastures.

Mr. Samad Nurudeen said agriculture is the biggest sector in Ghana yet the sector’s workforce are not valued. "The youth are not attracted to this profession as there is no guarantee of income."

Mr. Nurudeen said the most worried aspect of all is that even a majority of students who graduate from agricultural institutions switch over to other professions instead of going into agriculture.

Mr. Samad Nurudeen reacting to a call made by the Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu Banahene to the effect that the youth must take agriculture as a business to serve as security for their economic survival and development at the Sunyani based radio station, Space FM’s flagship program dubbed 'The Hot Points', said successive governments including this current government had no sustainable policies and programs for agricultural sector.

The Bono Minister presenting 9 rice harvesters to 3 rice farmer groups at Atronie, a farming community in the Sunyani Municipality, said the youth especially those at the forest zone enclave should be encouraged to take up farming as a profession to help reduce the rural-urban migration and its socio-economic consequences.

He suggested that there are many ways to enhance job opportunities for students of agriculture. Given instances, He said "the government needs to come up with schemes so that students are given a license to market and supply fertilisers and pesticides and in doing so, farmers can get correct advice regarding the amount to be used for a particular crop."

He called on the government to train the youth to incorporate the latest technological breakthroughs in agriculture. "Agricultural institutions must hold training programmes to teach young farmers about post-harvest management and value additions."

"To make Agriculture attractive to the Ghanaian youth, agricultural institutions must make themselves relevant by inspiring students to become entrepreneurs, teaching them to practice new agro innovations and techniques, generating awareness about the existing banking schemes and market mechanisms.

The youth should also be taught about profitable farming techniques and systems so that less land and resources are used. They should not only be taught about integrated farming, but also about the latest techniques.

According to him, the so-called flagship programs such as planting for food and jobs, planting for food and export etc. are all unsustainable policies and programs, adding that it has no blueprint," Mr. Nurudeen affirmed.

Mr. Samad Nurudeen who was a pundit at the program had contrary view to the call by the minister and his view was that even the recent shortage of maize which subsequently balloon the prices of bag of maize to all time high has shown that the government did not anticipate the shortage and its ripple effects on maize consumers especially poultry farmers who are currently selling their layers prematurely.

Mr. Nurudeen noted that currently prices of most agricultural produce are creeping higher and higher by the day.

The PNC Bono Secretary opined that not too long ago farmers across the nation incurred heavy losses as they had to sell their produce at throwaway prices to an extent that the government even boasted that the country was exporting farm produce to neighbouring countries yet the country couldn’t sustain that gains.

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