Mr. Daniel Acquaye, the Executive Director, AGRI-IMPACT Limited has urged the government to roll out attractive packages to woo the youth to venture into the agricultural sector to revamp the country’s economy.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Acquaye was disquieted that successive governments under the Fourth Republic have failed to attract the youth into agriculture even though they all agreed that the agricultural sector is the backbone of the nation.
“Governments over the years have paid less attention to the agricultural sector which is known to be the engine of Ghana’s economy.
“I acknowledged that the current government even though has rolled out some flagship projects focusing on the agricultural sector, we need to be strategic as a nation to attract the youth,” he said.
Mr Acquaye appealed to the government to support the youth in the agricultural sector by giving them packages to serve as incentives that would not only curb unemployment but also generate more income to transform the economic fortune of the nation.
He noted that one of the surest ways to lure the youth into agriculture was to make it an attractive subject at schools, “the study of agriculture should not just remain an examinable subject but professional career options and strategically guide the youth to opt for it after school”.
He, therefore, suggested to the government to initiate a project where students were shown how to grow high-value crops, keep livestock, and how to package and market produce for the global markets.
Mr Acquaye reiterated the need for the youth to be encouraged to play a vital role to complement the government’s efforts to revive the country from the economic crisis through agriculture.
“If the youth, especially those at basic and second cycle level are encouraged into the agricultural sector after school such people can contribute positively toward economic development,” he said.
He said the agriculture sector as the backbone of the economy contributed approximately 24 percent of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In this regard, the sector has enormous potential to eradicate poverty, create wealth, and reduce unemployment, especially among the teeming youth.
“Agriculture impacts society in many ways, including supporting livelihoods through food, habitat, by providing raw materials for food and other products and also build strong economies through trade,” he stressed.
Mr Acquaye stressed that agriculture was predominantly controlled and undertaken by the older generation while the young ones continue to seek non-existing white colour jobs which have increased the unemployment rate.