AGRA woos youth into agriculture

The Head of Communications, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Mr. Waiganjo Njoroge, has advocated the adoption of cutting-edge technology as bait for attracting the youth in Ghana into agriculture.

According to him, the continuous reliance on old and laborious systems of farming acted as a disincentive for the youth to venture into agriculture, despite its potential to create employment for the teaming unemployed youth in Africa.

“We need to change the narrative in terms of our agriculture practices if we are to make the sector attractive for our youth and we can only do this if we invest in cutting-edge technologies and deploy it into our farming systems,” he emphasized.

Mr. Njoroge who disclosed these to the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of a field visit by journalists to selected digitized agricultural sites in the country, said  “unless we practice agriculture in a way that is edge-cutting, the young people will not be interested.”

He said the continent would continue to grapple with young people migrating through the Sahara Desert to Europe in search of non-existent greener pastures in spite of the perilous nature of that kind of journey.

Mr. Njoroge noted that agriculture had a huge potential for the youth, stressing that “it is the surest path to prosperity on the continent and it is the surest way of ensuring that our people develop.”

According to him the youth were so much into technology and with digitization being introduced into agriculture, the youth would be encouraged to join Ghana’s agricultural revolution.

Touching on the field visit, he said it was a precursor to the launch this year’s Africa Green Revolution Forum, to be hosted in Accra.

Mr. Njoroge said following government’s prioritization of agriculture, AGRA found it necessary to strengthen its partnership with Ghana to find out where it could contribute to agriculture development.

The Chief Executive Officer of Quali Trace, an agriculture digitization company based in Accra, Mr. Kenneth Abdulai Nelson, said most small holder farmers in Ghana were aging and the youth should be encouraged to venture into farming.

He said “we need more youth to join agriculture, but since the youth are attracted to technology, this is the way forward.”

Mr. Nelson said the company assemble drones purposely designed for agriculture, and it intended to create more job opportunities in the communities when the assembly unit for the company is launched in the course of the year.

The Director, Corporate Affairs for KOSMOS Energy, Mr. George Sarpong, said his organisation through the KOSMOS Innovation Centre was driving the digital revolution in   agriculture in the country.

He said the programme focused on empowering young men and women to drive innovation in agriculture.

“To date, we have trained more than 300 young people and have nurtured some of the most promising youth-driven, agri-tech startups in Ghana today,” Mr Sarpong said.

By Cliff Ekuful, Obom

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