Set up State farms under ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ – Agric trainees tell gov’t

File photo. A national service farm

Students in agriculture and related sciences (IAAS) are urging government to establish State farms under its flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme that seeks to whip up interest in agriculture and boost food production in the country.

The group said the establishment of state farms will go a long way to create jobs for agriculture graduates in the country who have remained unemployed for years, as well as give trainees hands on practical experiene while in school.

National vice president of International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences (IAAS), Desmond Nana Yaw Aboagye, who made the appeal argued state farms will be the only way a students who reads agriculture and related sciences, can be employed just as their colleagues in nursing and teacher trainee schools.

“When nurses, doctors, teachers, lawyers go to school, they graduate and gets back to office and work, so when I read agriculture and graduate where do I go?” he wondered.

He added: It is “Not that we don’t want to work, we want to get our hands on desks and work but where is the job?”

Nana Aboagye said the planting for food and jobs should not be left to only peasant and local farmers but should also be an initiative of the government where it will employ people under the state farm principle, to introduce more jobs and to increase productivity.

He stressed that, with the state farm initiative, both job and food aspects of the planting for food and jobs is assured, noting under that graduates of agriculture will be employed to go into higher levels of production and ultimately guarantee food security in Ghana.

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“We are therefore asking government to introduce state farms as part of the planting for food and jobs initiative. We would be glad if government could give this request a consideration as soon as possible so we students and graduates in agriculture can also have something to ourselves,” he appealed.

He also called on government to consider the introduction of section in the planting for food and jobs to cater for meat production.

“Food is not complete without meat in a lay man’s view. The rate of importation of chicken and beef products is on a rise but with government’s support and the state farm initiative, farmers can produce to meet the country’s requirement and even expand for exportation” he said.

Nana Aboagye appealed to government to address the issue of allowance for the colleges of agriculture across the country.

Students in the colleges of agriculture hit the street last week to demand the restoration of their allowance which was scrapped together with that of nurses and trainee teachers. The allowances for the trainee teachers and nurses have since this month been restored by the government.

By Kwadwo Antwi Boasiako|Akoma FM|