Mr Lawoetey Tettey, Director of Human Resource, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, says the reason most young people are not opting for agriculture is because they do not see it as a profit making and employment venture.
He, however, advised them not to see agriculture as just “cutlass and hoe farming” but as an employment avenue where they could participate in the value chain, especially in the processing of food products.
Mr Lawoetey Tettey said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the launch of the 2022 Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Bootcamp.
The Career Guidance and Mentorship Bootcamp, organised by Agrihouse Foundation and in its fifth year running, will train students on the agriculture value chain and support them to undertake careers in sector. The event will be held on the theme, “Digitalization, the enabler, the game changer and the future for agri-youth”.
Five hundred Agriculture students from 30 colleges and tertiary institutions are participating in the camp from March 28, 2022 to April 1, 2022 in Accra.
Mr Tettey said the business of agriculture must be emphasised for the youth to get involved. “It’s about the youth seeing agriculture as a profit making and employment activity where their skills and competencies were needed to grow the sector,” he stressed.
He said agriculture was a change maker for the economy and had a lot of opportunities and potentials to be explored for socioeconomic and national development.
Mr Samuel Oduro-Asare, Country Manager, OCP Africa, a fertilizer and soil management organisation, admonished young farmers to use digitisation and technology tools in their practice.
He said the two played significant roles in promoting agribusiness.
“Through social media for example, youth in agribusiness can take advantage of this digital tool by sharing their products online to larger audience and for potential customers,” he added.
Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, Executive Director, Agrihouse Foundation, said they had been able to train 12,500 students in the programme thus far with 750 of them operating actively in the agribusiness value chain.
She said the programme trained the students in the practicality of agriculture and the employment opportunities therein for them in the value chain.
“Most of these students did not have much idea on the practicality of agriculture, so we sought to through this programme enlighten them on the sector and how they can go into it, creating employment for themselves,” she reiterated.