Make agriculture attractive to encourage the youth – Agric Director
He said agriculture in Ghana has become a high-risk enterprise in the sense that there is no agriculture insurance as it is in other parts of the World, albeit uncertainty of ready market for farm produce.
Mr Fordjour said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Cape Coast on Monday.
He lauded Government’s agricultural flagship programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Jobs and Investments, Planting for Export and Rural Development among others, but indicated that it must be complimented with good incentives.
This according to him, is the main reasons why the youth especially university graduates are not prepared to ply the path of agriculture even in the period of unemployment.
“Agriculture is a high-risk enterprise. We don’t have agriculture insurance in this country…. If you invest heavily in agriculture and in the case of a crop failure or in the case where pest destroy your crop or if it doesn’t rain, how do you cover your cost. Even if it rains, you are not sure of a ready market. That makes the sector riskier” he said.
The youth will not invest if they are uncertain of better returns from what they put in.
“Government has a lot to do in this direction to attract the youth into agriculture and must roll out the programmes with good incentives and insurance packages”, he added.
He also blamed successive Governments for the neglect of the sector saying “for the past 10 to 15 years, attention to the Agric sector has been very low”
According to Mr Fordjour, the way forward is to modernize agriculture through the use of up to date technologies such as the use of drones in mass spraying, use of hybrid seeds and the use of mobile Phones for easy communication between farmers and extension agents.
He said, it is no longer viable to be glued to the outmoded methods of farming and therefore Government must support young farmers to purchase modern farming equipment.