Best farmer advocates for interest free loans for youth in agriculture
Mr Bretuoba Asafo Akowuah, the 2021 Western North Regional best farmer has advocated the granting of interest free loans for the youth who are into farming and agribusiness value chain.
This, according to him, would motivate more youth to go into farming so as to help reduce unemployment in the country.
Mr Akowuah, a retired banker made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said he has been farming for the past 23 years.
The 61-year old Regional best farmer told the GNA that he has 27 cattle, 85 local and over 200 foreign birds, 30 grasscutters, more than 2000 snails, and 30 rabbits.
He also has 60 acres of cocoa farm, 50 acres of palm plantation, 15 acres of rice farm, 10 acres of mango and seven acres of cashew among others with 16 permanent workers.
Mr Akowuah mentioned the lack of financial support as one of the constraints confronting farmers in the region and asked for support.
He urged on stakeholders to implement policies and programme that would motivate the youth to go into agriculture.
He lauded government’s flagship programmes of Planting for Food and Jobs and Rearing for Exports, which he said motivated him to include rice and maize production in his farming activities as well as grasscutters and Rabbits Rearing.
The Regional Best farmer called on the government and traditional authorities to help end illegal mining activities especially in farming areas since that could negatively affect agriculture.
According to him, some of his farm hands abandoned their work to engage in illegal mining, a situation he described as very worrying.
“The Government and Ministry of Agriculture (MOFA) should adopt a policy of educating Ghanaians on the need to go into farming since that would help reduce unemployment especially among the youth”.
Mr Akuwuah also advised other pensioners to venture into agriculture which he described as a very lucrative venture and that they would not regret it and dispelled rumors that awardees usually have to pay bribes before being awarded, stressing that he did not pay a pesewa for his award.
He dedicated his award to Mr Kofi Koduah Sarpong, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) and Nana Adu Kwasi II, chief of Sefwi-Asawinso for their wise counsel.