The Deputy Minister made the observation during this year’s District farmers’ day celebration organized by the Bolgatanga Municipal Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in collaboration with the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly for farmers in the area.
The Minister impressed upon the youth to get themselves engaged in farming and animal husbandry instead of relying solely on white collar jobs.
He said apart from agriculture being a tool for addressing youth unemployment and poverty, it was an effective means of redistributing income.
The Deputy Minister mentioned the erratic pattern of rainfall in the region, farmers’ over-reliance on traditional farm implements, poor market networks and low pricing of agriculture commodities as some of the factors that make the agriculture sector less attractive, and advocated for social protection policies and programmes for the protection of farmers and consumers.
He said under the food security and emergency programme, the Government intended to reduce food and nutrition insecurity through modernized agriculture, management of national strategic stocks for emergencies and commercialization, as well as the establishment of effective early warning systems to forestall disasters.
Mr Syme commended the 16 Award Winners in the Municipality made up of eleven males and five female farmers, and entreated them to aspire higher to win the Regional and National Awards .
The Municipal Director of MOFA , Dr Patrick Abakeh, expressed concern about the aging farming population and reiterated the need for the youth to go into agriculture to help produce enough food for the nation.
He stated that despite the fact that the agriculture sector was faced with challenges of inadequate infrastructure such as poor road network and transport, among others, the government through MOFA had implemented a lot of agricultural interventions for farmers aimed at empowering them to increase crop and animal production.
He mentioned some of the interventions as the Livestock Development Project, the Rice Sector Support project, the Northern Rural Growth Project, the Cowpea up-scaling project and the fertilizer subsidy input initiative.
Mr Robert Akelinyirae Awure, won the overall best Municipal farmer and took home a motor tricycle, three bags of fertilizer, one full piece of cloth, a pair of Wellington boots and three bars of key soap.
He encouraged the youth to form groups to go into farming.
The other award winners also received prizes including bags of fertilizers, pieces of cloth, Wellington boots, bars of key soap, Corn Shellers, grafted mango seedlings and Certificates.
All the Districts and Municipalities in the Upper East Region celebrated the farmers Day last Friday, as the region will host the National Farmers Day event on Friday, December 4, 2015.