Business News of Wednesday, 6 September 2017
One of the reasons young people refuse to venture into agriculture is because of the negative perception that has been portrayed by people, the Executive Director for Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP,) Dan Acquaye has asserted.
He quizzed why farmers are always portrayed as poor by various organisations and said it is about time that negative perception about agriculture is changed because it is one of the most lucrative business to be in.
According to him because of bad view people have of it, the youth especially refuses to go into agriculture making the unemployment rate in the country so high because they all want to be seen in the offices and not on the field.
“If we have development institutions, most of their publications it could be World Bank it could be UN, most of their publications on the front page, you would always see that they have put a woman or a man who looks so impoverished, who looks so poor. That is the picture they use on the front page or the cover page of most agricultural documents. Now what message are you sending, you use that picture and you are asking the young people to get into agriculture? It won’t work because already your cover page says that this is a poor industry that you are entering”, he stressed.
Furthermore, he said demonstrating the profitability of agriculture and agribusiness to the youth will help revamp the agricultural sector and also attract the youth to be interested in farming, thereby help reduce the unemployment rate and increasing the country’s economic productivity.
He indicated that unemployment is a major issue in many African countries and over 40 percent of the global unemployed are youth where Ghana is also grappling with its effects. In Ghana, over 70,000 graduates from various tertiary institutions join the labour force every year with only about 6,000 having the possibility of being employed.
And in addressing this issue of unemployment, agriculture is the antidote as it provides jobs for more than 65% of the population.
Dan Acquaye said this in an interview with GhanaWeb at the lessons sharing workshop on Entrepreneurship for Opportunity Actualization (EOpAct) held at the Fiesta Royale Hotel in Accra on Wednesday, September 6.
The theme for the programme was “Driving the Agro-Industrialization Agenda in Africa, the Critical Place of Skills Development”.
Entrepreneurship for Opportunity Actualization (EOpAct), is a USAID program funded through Africa Lead II internship-based Agribusiness Leadership Program (ALP) with the aim of providing distinctive services to graduates, youth and women to build their technical and managerial capacities to make them relevant in agriculture value chains, job markets and business opportunities.