NSS to pursue rigorous youth in agriculture programme

farmerThe National Service Scheme (NSS), will continue to vigorously pursue the youth in agriculture programme through its agricultural projects, Alhaji Alhassan Imoro, Acting Executive Director of the Scheme said in Accra on Wednesday.

He made this known in a news conference to formally launch the 2013/2014 National Service year, during which more than 70,000 personnel are expected to be deployed throughout the country.

Alhaji Imoro said the cultivation of maize in six regional farms is on-going and harvesting of the crop is expected soon.

He noted that the Northern Region would join the agricultural project this year as the seventh region with an initial cultivation of 85 acres of maize at Damongo in the West Gonja District.

Alhaji Imoro said the scheme would pursue value addition to its produce through processing.

Already the NSS has started the processing of chicken products at its Nungua farms in the Greater Accra Region.

He said the facility would be inaugurated after final certification with the Ghana Standards Authority and other relevant bodies.

“The scheme has also initiated feasibility studies into oil palm production and plans are far advanced for the establishment of oil palm plantation on commercial scale in the Ashanti Region this year.

“We have gathered enough experience in the agricultural projects for the past three years and a review of our performance in this area requires diversification and development of aggressive marketing strategies to give more meaning to this programme,” he said.

The Executive Director observed that the scheme over the years is challenged by the increasing number of the graduates the tertiary institutions turn out every year.

He said managing the large numbers in the face of resource constraints is very challenging.

“The scheme has also managed its district offices with only one permanent staff with the support of national service personnel.

“This phenomenon challenges the effective performance of the district directors especially in time of monitoring… There is sometimes compromise.”

Source: GNA

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