Engage youth in agriculture for jobs and food security
Encouragement of youth involvement in agriculture can help develop jobs for them and assure food security as farming is one of the sectors that can reduce unemployment in the nation.
It is remarkable that the majority of Ghana’s youth complain about unemployment rather than working in agriculture to support them. Ghana has a large amount of agricultural land.
Farmers have improved their agricultural practices over the years, becoming more independent and some even earning accolades locally, nationally, or even worldwide.
While there is a propensity for young people to go to cities and towns in quest of unattainable greener pastures, when one travels outside of Accra to the hinterlands, one typically finds vast undeveloped arable fields.
Farming offers the young generation the ability to make a difference by producing enough food to feed themselves, their families, and even the country, therefore it is surprising that they are not motivated to take use of this potential.
An illustration of this is the National Service Scheme’s (NSS) investment in a large-scale commercial farming operation at Abotantire in the Sekyere Afram Plains District of the Ashanti Region as part of the Sekyere Kumawu Economic Enclave Project (SKEEP).
The goal is to prepare young people to work in commercial agriculture with a concentration on the production of maize, rice, soy, catfish, tilapia, and poultry.
When the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum visited the place recently with some executives of the NSS they were so impressed with what they saw as the investment has yielded much results to provide food for the National Buffer Stock Company (NABCO) to support the free senior high school (SHS) and school-feeding programmes.
The project is admirable, and the Spectator thinks that if it is adopted by other regions, sustained farming will provide the future generation a great chance to improve food security, reduce starvation, and aid in the agricultural sector’s adaptation to climate change.
The youth need education, technical training, and resources like land and money to contribute to local, national, and global development if they are to view agriculture as a lucrative and exciting career path.
Families and schools can start a backyard garden (as was done in the past during the operation-feed-yourself programme) to grow vegetables like tomatoes, okra, and peppers at home and in schools so that the youth can practise farming until it becomes part of them.
There is a need for alternatives to maintain food security in these challenging economic times because there are few resources and the government is struggling to feed pupils due to the rising number of students attending SHS.