Views: 413 Ishmael A. Junourgh, Accra,  6.52pm, 28-July-17 Agriculture is not a preserve of only rural peasant, but a pro-poor and job oriented interv...

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Ishmael A. Junourgh, Accra,  6.52pm, 28-July-17

Agriculture is not a preserve of only rural peasant, but a pro-poor and job oriented intervention, and with desired commitment, it is able to solve Ghana’s mass youth unemployment catastrophe, according to Member of Parliament (MP) for Jirapa Constituency in the Upper West Region Dr.Francis Bawaana Dakurah.
He said: ‘the backbone to our livelihood depends on it.’
When asked, the MP, a PHD certificate holder and hard working farmer in demonstrating his commitment to agriculture, said he was not just a politician, but much more a farmer with 1000s acres to show off. He said he has being farming since 2014 and that commitment was the difference between a successful farmer and unsuccessful one.
He said it was not necessary to start on large scale as a starter, but to be committed to the occupation was success-key to a farmer.
He exemplified that with say five acres of groundnut, one was able to harvest up to 20 to 30 bags which when sold could fetch 20, 000gh¢.
“I love it; I have given into it fully it using my accumulated capital.” He reiterated.
According to the MP who is already exporting thousands of metric tones of soybeans to Europe, the trade was very lucrative and that there was high quest to improve country structures such that the youth were put into groups of farmer based associations and that could turn around fortunes of individual youth and by and large improve development of the country.
He said most youth were seeing farming as more tasking and laborious owing to the fact that most of them have no access to modern agricultural inputs and have to only rely on the traditional peasant ways of occupation.
The MP said in view of the situation and the fact that most people do not have ‘organised incomes,’ he had acquired two tractors to reduce cost of plaughing among most peasant farmers in the Jirapa constituency.
And he could now boast of offering direct employment for more than 21 youth, and casual employment to over 80 others, especially students on vacation.
He analysed that for the government’s planting-for-food-and-jobs policy to be sustainable, they must educate the teeming youth into agriculture, and that “as it now one needs minimum of 5000ghc to cultivate an acre of land.”
He said government should learn to provide technical support to farmers, acquire earth clearing equipment, deal with land tenure systems, very cumbersome in the northern sector, and allocate those prepared land to the youth for cultivation since it is very expensive to deal with individual farmers vis-à-vis the cost of clearing farm land.