Mr George Badu-Yeboah, Central Regional Director of Agriculture, stressed on Wednesday that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) would transform farming into a lucrative venture.
He said through the modernization of the sector they would attract the youth into the business and improve the livelihood of farmers.
Mr Badu-Yeboah gave the assurance at the opening of a two-day stakeholders’ forum on the theme: “Unifying all Stakeholders in Agriculture to Move Agriculture Forward in Central Region”, at Cape Coast
He said well coordinated, regulated and strategic agricultural activities would be executed in the region to help increase the income of farmers, particularly, the rural poor, and to improve upon the socio-economic status of the region.
Development partners, district directors of MoFA, representatives of the Central Region Development Commission (CEDECOM), Twifo Oil Palm Plantation Kakum Rural Bank and the Business Advisory Centres (BAC) are attending the forum.
Mr Badu-Yeboah said the forum is to spot development partners and their plan of activities for the sector and to come out with recommendations that would be mainstreamed into the plans of MoFA.
He said Stakeholders must pool their resources to push the agenda of enhancing sustainable food security in the region which would transform into good standard of living to propel it into the status of fourth richest region in the country.
The Central Regional minister, Mrs Ama Benyiwa-Doe, in a speech read on her behalf, expressed concern about the absence of a framework between the (MoFA) and developmental partners resulting in duplication of programmes and called for a guide on development interventions.
She said: “Modernizing poor smallholder agriculture can be achieved when there is abundance in access to credit and technology, good infrastructure and markets for agricultural produce… I commended the regional MoFA for spearheading such an initiative to ensure coordination.”
Mr Peter Omega, Regional Agric Officer Extension, enumerated food insecurity, low technology development and dissemination, inadequate human resources, low level of natural resources, climate change and high labour cost as some of the constraints impinging on the modernization of agriculture in the region.
Professor Adjei Kwarteng, Dean of the School of Agriculture, who chaired the function, noted that development was about people, therefore, the sector should be given the needed boost by all stakeholders to ensure its growth to raise the income levels of the lot of the rural poor.
He said the world market had become highly competitive, therefore, farmers in Ghana needed to produce to meet international standards with the support of development partners.