Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture Yaw Frimpong Addo says government is working to get more youth in the country interested in taking up professions in the agricultural industry. He says government’s flagship Planting For Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative is heavy on encouraging more youth participation not only in farming, but the entire agricultural value chain.
“With the Planting for Food and Jobs Initiative, the greater interest is in how the youth can have jobs in agriculture,” he explained. “There is a component that emphasizes on agribusiness. The youth in every district have been encouraged to take part in the PFJ. It’s from production to the table. The youth must position themselves within the food chain; production, processing, distribution,” he added.
Mr. Frimpong Addo was speaking at a high-level youth townhall meeting as part of the Alliance for Green Revolution Forum (AGRF). The forum has brought together a critical range of stakeholders from across Africa including government officials, private sector actors, development and non-profit partners, aacademics, among others to discuss how to make Africa more food secure. The youth townhall sessions seek to elevate the discussion on harnessing the power of young people to transform the continent’s food system. The deputy minister was responding to a question from Kofi Kisiedu Acquaye, who is Africa Coordinator of the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD).
Mr. Frimpong Addo told the forum government appreciates concerns of the youth about difficulty in accessing funding to venture into agriculture, but that problem is being fixed.
He says government is committed to helping the youth develop their talents in various fields “so they can end hunger within the food system.”
Mr. Frimpong Addo says more youth are being introduced to the concept of greenhouse farming which a lot of them find more appealing.
“The facilities have been put there. About 190 youth are currently in Israel learning about the technology. About 537 youth have been trained in that respect. We have selected some sites in the middle and coastal belt to take advantage of this initiative. And the private sector is being encouraged to set up some of the green house sites around the country so the youth can get involved,” he explained.