“We are very passionate about agriculture because we know with proper transformation, more jobs will be created, food security will be enhanced and several people, especially the youth will not hesitate to venture into the agricultural sector.”
The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, made these assertions at the launch of the 35th National Farmers Day Celebrations in Accra yesterday.
The programme is scheduled for December 6 in the Volta Region.
According to the minister, several steps had already been taken to modernise the agricultural sector including the establishment of greenhouse villages with modern technological systems of vegetable production training centres at Dawhenya, Akomadan and Kasoa.
He revealed that last year, the ministry facilitated the training of 51 graduates in Israel in greenhouse vegetable production, adding that the group arrived from Israel on September 8, after a year’s paid internship and training.
“This intervention aims at promoting vegetable production and youth entrepreneurship with prospects of high earning incomes through the export of vegetables.
It will also help to attain self-sufficiency in vegetable production and reduce importation with its adverse effect on the country’s balance of payment. Ultimately the promotion of greenhouse technology will give meaning to the agenda of commercialising and transforming agriculture into a modern and competitive enterprise,” he added.
Mr Akoto assured that in the course of time, the full impact of Government’s interventions in the agricultural sector would begin to manifest and trigger the desired effects on the entire economy of Ghana.
He expressed gratitude to supporters and sponsors of the National Farmers Day Celebrations and called on the private sector to complement government’s efforts in making the celebration a success.
According to the minister, government continued to demonstrate a firm commitment to the improvement of the sector.
Launching it, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta indicated that the growth of Ghana’s agriculture ties was with government’s industrialisation agenda and its potential benefits of job creation.
He charged the National Planning committee to come out with innovative ideas and ways of motivating and demonstrating support for farmers, adding that last year, the planning committee came up with the innovative award of providing scholarships to award winners and this was well received and appreciated.
A major objective of government, he said, was to transform agriculture from its current subsistence and primary production status, to a viable commercial enterprise with a strong value addition orientation and a highly developed agriculture value chain.
Mr Ofori-Atta stated that “there is evidence all around us of processed agricultural produce on a scale never before seen in this country. Government is highly encouraged by this development because of the benefits it brings to farmers, in terms of market opportunities.”
The Volta Regional minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa on his part assured Ghanaians that his outfit was ready to host the event and make it a very memorable one.
“The choice of the Volta Region to host this grand event is an honour. We will ensure the celebration becomes a success,” he added.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU