‘Protect country’s arable lands from real estate developers’

 The Member of Par­liament for the Korle Klottey Constituency, Dr Zanetor Agyemang-Rawlings, is advocating a policy that will seek to protect the country’s arable lands in the peri-urban areas from real estate developers.

According to her, the country was fast losing its agricultural lands due to the unregulated land use and this might lead to food crisis in the immediate future unless urgent steps are taken to stem the tide.

Speaking at the opening of the Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp (AG-STUD) Africa 2024, Dr Agyeman-Raw­lings said food was crucial for the sustenance of the society and government must protect arable lands to promote food produc­tion.

“You cannot have a house without food,” she stated, and said food production must not give way to the construction of real estate houses.

The five-day programme, the seventh to be held by Agrihouse Foundation, is on the theme “Ac­celerating our efforts in enabling and advancing career opportuni­ties for the agri-youth: Role of the public, private and development partners”.

It is being attended by 350 agricultural students from the various tertiary institutions and some selected students from some of the Senior High Schools across the country.

Dr Zanetor urged the students to venture into agriculture as there were so many opportunities in the agriculture value chain such as crop production, processing, storage, haulage, irrigation and agriculture finance.

The Managing Director of Kwafre Farms and the 2018 Best Farmer, James Boateng, told the participants that agriculture was as lucrative as any other business.

The Minister of Food and Ag­riculture, Mr Bryan Acheampong, in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Crops, Dr Solomon Ansah, said agriculture held a crucial part of the country’s economy, contributing about 21 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.

He said the youth represent­ed the future of the country’s agriculture and the government would continue to support them to venture into agriculture.

The Chief Executive Officer of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, said the yearly programme was introduced seven years ago to expose agric students to the diverse career opportunities in the agricultural sector and also to create a plat­form for people who have made it in agriculture to inspire and mentor agric students.

Ms Akosa said the partici­pants would be taken through programmes such as agri-ted talk mentorship, soft skills develop­ment sessions, ag-voyage and coach meet-up sessions, agri-in­spire, mindset shaping, innova­tive role play and credibility and accountability sessions and the highlight would be the Beginner Agribusiness Competition and Input Dealer Deal Pitch.


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