Agriculture officials have cried out to government to provide them with the needed logistics to enable them to execute their mandate effectively and efficiently.
The Northern Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, William Boakye Acheampong who made the call, said farmers would be able to produce enough food to feed the country and for export, if agriculture extension officers were given the necessary resources to work with.
He was speaking at the launch of a three-year project on youth in agriculture on the theme, ‘Enhancing the capacities of agricultural college graduates towards participation in youth in agriculture’.
The project was being implemented by the University for Development Studies (UDS).
Mr. Acheampong expressed worry that extension officers trained to sensitise farmers to modern farming practices, sat idle in the offices while farmers labour in vein.
He bemoaned that many of the district directorates of agriculture had no means of transport to work with.
Mr. Acheampong appealed to the government to employ more extension officers saying ‘about seventy per cent of the current extension officers would retire between two to three years”.
The Program Officer of AGRA, Dr. Zacharie Zida, explained that the project was aimed at enhancing the capacities of agriculture college graduates across the country to enable them to participate fully in agriculture.
He said the project sought to address problems faced by graduates particularly those from agricultural colleges, adding that it was meant to encourage the youth to venture into agri-business.
The UDS Project Coordinator of the Youth in Agriculture Project, Dr. Francis K. Obeng, stated that it was important for people to take farming as a business by devoting their time and resources into it for positive outcomes.
He said that the project would train about 292 youths on best farming practices, adding that four agricultural colleges and three farm institutions are to benefit from the project.
The Vice-Chancellor of UDS, Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, commended AGRA for the project, stressing that if successfully implemented it would help address food insecurity in the country.
From Yakubu Abdul-Majeed, Tamale.