Farming is not a poverty-oriented enterprise reserved for the poor in society, Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister has said.
“In fact, farming is not only seen as the production of food to put body and soul together, but also an avenue to create jobs and wealth for socio-economic development of the individual and the nation,” she said.
The Regional Minister therefore entreated youth to shun the misconception, capitalize on the numerous governments’ intervention programmes and engage in farming as a business venture to better their lots.
Mad. Owusu-Banahene gave the advice when she opened an agricultural fair, organised by the Bono Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in Sunyani on the theme “Promoting Market Linkages through Agriculture Fair.”
The three-day fair provided a single platform for the major stakeholders and agri-businesses in the agriculture sector in the region to network with potential clients, promote technologies helpful to increasing farm-related incomes.
It also provided updated information to the industry players in the agricultural sector and strategies in accelerating efforts towards the realization of the modernization and transformation agenda of the nation’s agriculture sector.
Mad. Owusu-Banahene said the government’s flagship programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs (PfFJs), Promotion of Market-Oriented Agriculture and Development of Commodity Value Chains among other interventions provided enormous opportunities for the youth to engage in commercial farming.
“These are clear testimonies demonstrating the government’s commitment to developing and moving the agriculture sector to a high level,” she said.
Mr. Dennis Amenga, the Bono Regional Director of Agriculture explained the fair was in-line with the Global Affairs Canada funded Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme aimed at supporting agricultural services to build linkages and promote efficiency in commodity value change development.
“To this end, the regional Directorate of Agriculture since the inception of MAG has supported various initiatives aimed at addressing marketing gears and promoting market linkages among agricultural value chain participants,” he said.
Towards achieving MAG programme’s milestone, outputs, and outcomes, Mr Abugri said the Directorate conducted research, extension, farmer linkages committee programmes and established specific value chains and platforms for stakeholders in the sector.
The Directorate further facilitates the sharing of direct marketing/market intelligence among stakeholders and promotes market-oriented agriculture as well, Mr. Abugri indicated.