Gov’t implored to empower youth in agricultural entrepreneurship

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Agriculture
Agriculture

Mr. Yunus Abdulai, the Country Lead of Policy LINK, has called on the Government to support young people to take agriculture as viable business opportunity to reduce unemployment.

He said the youth had the potential to transform the agricultural sector into a more robust and profitable industry, however, they required both technical and financial support to sustain their interests in farming.

Mr. Abdulai said this at a Youth Policy Dialogue, organised in Tamale by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Policy LINK, in collaboration with the Ghana Market Systems and Resilience (MSR) Activity.

Other partners include the Ghana Mobilising Finance in Agriculture, and the Centre for Agriculture Productivity and Policy Studies (CAPPS) of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Nyankpala Campus.

“The agricultural sector is vital for the economic growth and food security of the country. Supporting the youth in the sector will provide more employment opportunities and reduce poverty and deprivation,” he said.

The dialogue brought together some youth-led advocacy organisations including the Northern Youth Parliament, Northern Regional Youth Network as well as some selected senior high school students.

It was on the theme: “Promoting Agribusiness: Empowering Youth to take Agriculture as a Viable Business Opportunity” and formed part of Policy LINK’s efforts to support the development of a vibrant and inclusive agricultural sector to entice young people to contribute to food security.

It also formed part of activities by Policy LINK to commemorate this year’s International Youth Day.

Mr. Ahmed Yakubu Mohammed, Sagnarigu Municipal Chief Executive, lauded the initiative as it was in line with government’s interventions towards whipping up the interest of the youth in agriculture.

He said young people had the energy, creativity, and the resilience to redefine the agricultural landscape in Ghana, but the challenge had been how to inspire them and change their perceptions on the sector.

He assured the participants of the Assembly’s commitment to engaging with the various stakeholders to establish incubation hubs to serve as learning centres for young entrepreneurs in agric.

Dr Adinan Bahahudeen Shafiwu, Research Associate, CAPPS of the UDS, Nyankpala Campus, presented a paper on: “Agriculture Policy Interventions in 2023 National Budget for Youth: Empowering the Youth to venture into Agribusiness.”

He said although government had not met the 2014 Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Agreement of committing 10 per cent of budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector, there had been a significant improvement to the sector over the years.

“The 1.24% budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector in 2023 budget, compared to 0.81% budgetary allocation in 2022, had shown that government was committed to improving the sector,” he said.

Mr. Cecil Osei, the Deputy Chief of Party, Ghana MSR Activity, said youth participation in agriculture was crucial to sustaining the sector and urged them to seek information to make the right choices in agribusiness.

Participants later developed a communique and called on the Government to involve young people in key decision-making processes regarding agriculture and institute measures to reduce the negative impact of climate change, limited access to finance and markets on agriculture.

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