Mr Daniel Norris Bekoe, a Communications Lecturer at the Pentecost University College, has urged media professionals to give high priority to agriculture development in their reportage.
According to him, research shows that no sector of the economy of any country is able to alleviate the poverty of the people than agriculture.
Mr Bekoe made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on the sideline of a day’s forum for media personnel and farmers to discuss the media’s contribution to agricultural reportage.
He said the situation where the media gives too much attention to politics was not helping the country at all, declaring that ‘when this happens it means that other sectors of the economy are relegated to the background’.
Mr Bekoe, who is a PhD Candidate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard Campus, South Africa, said a study of 40 newspapers in Ghana within a period of two months in 2015; shows that 70 per cent of their spaces were allocated to politics, while 20 to 24 per cent went to adverts and sometimes one per cent was dedicated to agriculture.
He said a careful study of Ghana’s budgetary locations right from independence to date, shows that agriculture allocations and growth had being dwindling over the years.
He observed that from 2009 to date agriculture growth had falling from 29.1 per cent to 0.04 per cent; a situation which Mr Bekoe described as very worrying considering the fact that majority of the people or the youth are into farming.
‘In Ghana almost 70 per cent of our population is into farming, so the agriculture sector needs serious highlight and the media must do well to ensure that agriculture is given its proper place; so that government can support farmers.
‘The dwindling fortunes of agriculture in Ghana over the years show that as a country we have not being doing enough in the sector,’ he said.
Mr Bekoe pointed out that the situation where the media put political stories at the front pages and agriculture at back place should be a thing of the past; stating that ‘the media is the voice of the voiceless’.
He appealed to farmers to form powerful cooperatives so that their voices could be heard by government and all stakeholders.
He urged the farmers to make good use of the media to present their challenges to the government, stakeholders and policy makers.
Mr Roy Addo Danso, a participant at the workshop and a farmer from Wassa East District in the Western Region, urged the youth to rise and take up agriculture from the aging farmers.