The Minister of State in charge of Public Private Partnership, Abdul Rashid Pelpuo, has blamed the dwindling and decline in agriculture in the country on lack of interest by the youth to go into the sector.
Justifying his position on news and current affairs program Ghana Dadwen on Onua FM on Wednesday, the Wa Central Member of Parliament was of the view that President John Dramani Mahama has created many avenues and supported the agriculture sector more than any government but the youth are more interested in office jobs.
“Agriculture we all agree is the life blood of every nation’s economy including Ghana and if close to 60 per cent of our youth is into agric, do you know what that will mean for our economy?’ he quizzed.
“There are only few young people who come to my office for guidance or support to go into the sector and that is not encouraging for the future of this country. The youth are just not interested in farming no matter how opportunities are abound, they want white man job.”
The Minister of State in charge of PPP maintained that rich Ghanaians are shying away from going into agriculture production because they are comfortable to fly their money outside to invest in another country rather than going into large agriculture production which will provide jobs for the youth.
“If they don’t invest in the financial sector then they are dealing in hardware or even buying and selling. I think it is time people also take advantage over many opportunities created by us to start thinking agric or we will still keep complaining that the sector is collapsing,” Rasheed Pelpuo stressed.
He also pointed out that government can stimulate and motivate people to go into farming but if people do not express interest, they cannot be forced.
“It is not as if government does not care about the situation. That is why there are interventions like seedling distribution, mass spraying, subsidizing fertilizer inputs heavily and also reduction of tax component on some agric implement in order to motivate existing farmers to do more and also easy for those who are wishing to enter the sector.
“I challenge any youth to take up the challenge and come to see me that they want to go into agric. Asempa, I am happy to report that not long ago a young lady came to me that she wanted to go into can drink production and my office is willingly providing all the supports she needed.”
He added that not that government is neglecting the agric sector or not encouraging people to go there but what is needed is just people should be interested in going into the sector.
“It is better we stop saying agric is growing in negatives and try to encourage the youth to venture into agriculture production which will go in a long way to cut down the joblessness rather than making political capital out of it.”
By Bright Dzakah|Onua FM|Ghana