Poverty reduction lies in farming, not white-collar jobs: PNC Chairman

About 3,180 farmers from eight districts of the Northern Region have received assistance towards the cultivation of about 3,976 acres of farmland under the People’s National Convention’s (PNC) Youth in Agriculture Project.

The assistance is in the form of tractor ploughing services, and the provision of maize, rice, cow pea and Soya bean seeds, for planting.

Alhaji Zakaria Alhassan Gundaa, Northern Regional Chairman of the PNC who stated this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Tuesday, indicated that the project was being implemented only in the Northern Region and had been going on since the year 2000.

He mentioned East Gonja, Tamale Metropolis, Yendi Municipality, Central Gonja, Savelugu/Nanton, Karaga, Gushiegu, and Tolon/Kumbungu districts as areas where the project was being implemented, and said its replication in other regions across the country would be the surest way to build a sustainable economy and to ensure food security and poverty reduction in Ghana.

“Although my party is not in power it is contributing towards poverty reduction with this intervention”, he said.

Alhaji Gundaa said the only way to reduce poverty in the country was to give enough assistance to farmers to produce more food for the population, and advised the youth to embrace farming instead of moving to the cities to look for non-existent jobs.

The Regional Chairman said over the years he had been extending assistance to farmers irrespective of their political, religious and ethnic backgrounds, which had helped to improve their economic situation.

Alhaji Gundaa observed that no government, including those of the industrialized countries, could completely solve unemployment and appealed to Ghana’s unemployed youth to take up large-scale farming which he said was a lucrative business and a permanent employment, rather than chasing white-collar jobs.

He appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to offer more education and training to farmers, especially those in the rural areas, to bring them abreast with the modern trends in farming, and to ensure that they used improved seed to boost their yield.

Abdul-Rauf Mohammed, a 27-year-old farmer from Karaga and one of the project’s beneficiaries, told the GNA that he had been receiving assistance from the PNC Regional Chairman’s initiative for the past seven years.

He said he had currently cultivated 15 acres of maize and seven acres of rice, and expressed the optimism that this year’s harvest would be good since the rainfall pattern was favourable.

Source: GNA

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